BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - It might be hard to imagine in Alabama, but a new survey suggests more and more Americans are turning away from organized religion.
The percentage of people claiming no religion has increased by 266% in the last three decades, according to a survey by the General Social Surveys.
According to the GSS, as of 2018 23.1% of the U.S. population identify as having no religion. That's more than Catholics who make up 23% of the population and Evangelicals at 22.5%.
“I have no religion," Caleb Turner said.
Caleb Turner, 21, said he was raised without religion.
“My life is determined by myself. That's what I believe," Turner said.
"I'm fine with people saying that they have no religion because I'm not really religious myself," Claudia Lillo said.
Even through Clauda Lillo, 20, was raised Catholic.
"Manifesting things works," said Lillo.
The Public Religion Research Institute finds two-thirds of adults age 18 to 22 stop going to church once they are out on their own.
"I think it's difficult to be a living being and not be spiritual," Pastor Tim Kelley at Southside Baptist Church said.
Kelly said the walk with God is not always on a clear path and young adults often stray away from the church when finding themselves.
"There's a trend away from organized religion. Institutions have a way of creating an environment of which people are skeptical," Kelley said.
Kelly said often with age and life experiences people find their way back.
"Marriage, career, and the biggest of all is having children. It's not about us anymore it's about this other being we've had a hand in bringing in the world," Kelley said.
Kelly said some people may feel alienated by the church and that pushes people away
"Whether it be people that think like I do or think differently than I do, still, we're on this journey together. Give consideration to the love that we experienced and be able to share that love," said Kelley.
Turner believes access to information helps people make their own decisions.
“I think that because everybody can learn what they want now instead of only being taught what they learn. So now they can determine what they want to live and how they want to live,” Turner said.
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