Major Research from Pew: Religion in America

Sam Rainer

June 25, 2008

New research from the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life was released two days ago. They surveyed approximately 35,000 Americans for a comprehensive look at our country’s religious landscape. The report is a lot to digest, but you can access it here. Their findings are disappointing but not surprising:

Most Americans agree with the statement that many religions – not just their own – can lead to eternal life. Among those who are affiliated with a religious tradition, seven-in-ten say many religions can lead to eternal life. This view is shared by a majority of adherents in nearly all religious traditions, including more than half of members of evangelical Protestant churches (57%). Only among Mormons (57%) and Jehovah’s Witnesses (80%) do majorities say that their own religion is the one true faith leading to eternal life. [emphasis mine]

Oddly enough, it is the Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses that are the fastest growing “church bodies” in America, according to this report published back in February. Furthermore, another Pew study revealed that Jehovah’s Witnesses have the lowest retention rate of any religious tradition – only 37% of all those who say they were raised as Jehovah’s Witnesses still identify themselves as Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Piecing it all together, it appears that an exclusive claim is attractive, but a false gospel doesn’t help assimilate people in the church.

So, the combination for success is an exclusive claim coupled with the true, timeless message of Jesus.

John 14:6 Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

Time to get the Word out.

One comment on “Major Research from Pew: Religion in America”

  1. Jake Lynch says:


    This article was in our local paper yesterday. I shared it with our staff this morning and we are all in agreement that part of the reason people arer thinking like this is because of people like Joel Osteen who preach aas if they were evangelicals and don’t preach Christ as the only way. Educating our people of our beliefs is crucial. Pastors and church staff’s need to teach doctrine as truth not as theory.

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