Charlotte Talks: Our Changing Religious Landscape

Jun 12, 2018

Tuesday, June 12th,  2018

A look at what’s behind the growing secularization of America. Atheists and agnostics account for a growing number of the population.  And North Carolina seems to be following that trend.  What is driving this change?  Host Mike Collins and a panel of experts discuss the issue.  

Our nation’s religious landscape is changing. The United States is becoming more secular. According to a  PEW research study, the number of people who identify as Christians are declining, both as a share of the U.S. population and in total number around the world. Since 2007, the Christian share of the population has fallen from 78% to 70%.

The decline of Christians in the US has corresponded with the continued rise of Americas who say that they have no religious affiliation at all. People who call themselves as atheists or agnostics now account for a combined 22.8% of U.S. adults – up from 16.1% in 2007.

North Carolina is still largely a protestant-dominated state, making up 35% of the population, but those who are religiously unaffiliated are catching up…at 20%.

On this edition of Charlotte Talks, Mike Collins and guests sit down with a panel of experts to talk about the change in our nation’s religious landscape-- what is driving it, what impact is has on society, and what it means for Charlotte as a city in the "Bible Belt".

Guests:

Sigal Samuel, Associate Editor, The Atlantic. She covers religion and global affairs.

Sean McCloud, Professor and Director of Graduate Studies, Department of Religious Studies, UNC Charlotte

Tim Funk, Religion Reporter, The Charlotte Observer