The flow of religious conversions

Michael Bell, writing at the Internet Monk website last year, made a graph Pew Foundation data that described the trends in people switching religious groups from the groups in which they were raised to a new one, including “none.”  Even the graph alone is interesting, and I really would post it here if I knew how to embed an image, but I haven’t taken the time to figure that out yet.

Hat tip: Kevin DeYoung


One comment

  1. I read that post a while ago, and find it fascinating every time. I’m a bit surprised by the drop in the Mormon group, but I guess the survey doesn’t factor in birth rates. This is immensely important in the growth of religions, as Mormonism, last I checked, was still growing at about 10%/decade. It is also why Bell’s cautious optimism regarding the future of mainline churches is entirely misplaced. They are an aging and dying group whose future is dire if that cannot be reversed. If you aren’t going to have kids, you have to work much harder to bring in new converts if your numbers are to remain close to flat. Population growth /decline is a geometric function.

    The Catholic situation is very frustrating and sad for me, personally. I think it reflects both the consequences of a huge portion of Catholics having merely nominal commitment and also the horrendous consequences of a liberal implementation of the so-called “spirit” of Vatican II. Fortunately, for the future of Catholicism, liberal Catholics tend to be an aging breed, much like mainline Protestants.

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