Press Release May 12, 2015

ERLC president Russell Moore responds to new Pew Forum religion study

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 12, 2015Russell Moore, president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, responded to the latest data from the Pew Research Center today, which confirmed a rise in Americans who claim "no affiliation" in religious belief.

Christianity isn't normal anymore. It never should have been. The increasing strangeness of Christianity might be bad news for America, but it's good news for the church. The major newspapers are telling us today that Christianity is dying, according to this new study, but what is clear from this study is exactly the opposite: while mainline traditions plummet, evangelical churches are remaining remarkably steady.

"Nones are on the rise, this study reveals. But we do not have more atheists in America today than in previous generations. We simply have more honest atheists in America. This study makes it clear too that people who don't want Christianity don't want the almost-Christianity offered to them by traditions that jettison the historic teachings of the church as soon as they become unfashionable. The churches that are thriving are the vibrant, countercultural congregations that aren't afraid to not be seen as normal to the surrounding culture. This report actually leaves me hopeful. The Bible Belt may fall. So be it. Christianity emerged from a Roman Empire hostile to the core to the idea of a crucified and resurrected Messiah. Weve been on the wrong side of history since Rome, and it was enough to turn the world upside down."

Moore also "blogged":http://www.russellmoore.com/2015/05/12/is-christianity-dying/ at Moore to the Point on the significance of the findings of this new study.

The Southern Baptist Convention is Americas largest Protestant denomination with more than 15.8 million members in over 46,000 churches nationwide. The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission is the SBCs ethics, religious liberty and public policy agency with offices in Nashville, Tenn., and Washington, D.C.

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