Thursday, July 20, 2017

Post-Christian U.S. Cities - Rochester is #13

According to a study by Barna, a religious research group, Portland-Auburn, Maine, is the most post-Christian city in the United State, and my city, Rochester, New York ranks 13th.


The study involves surveying people on 16 factors, and those who fail on 9 of them are deemed post-Christian, and those who fail on 13 are considered highly post-Christian.

Those factors are:

  • Do not believe in God
  • Identify as atheist or agnostic
  • Disagree that faith is important in their lives
  • Have not prayed to God (in the last week)
  • Have never made a commitment to Jesus
  • Disagree the Bible is accurate
  • Have not donated money to a church (in the last year)
  • Have not attended a Christian church (in the last 6 months)
  • Agree that Jesus committed sins
  • Do not feel a responsibility to “share their faith”
  • Have not read the Bible (in the last week)
  • Have not volunteered at church (in the last week)
  • Have not attended Sunday school (in the last week)
  • Have not attended religious small group (in the last week)
  • Bible engagement scale: low (have not read the Bible in the past week and disagree strongly or somewhat that the Bible is accurate)
  • Not Born Again

  • Some of the wording is decidedly evangelical Protestant - "Born Again," "commitment to Jesus" and "the Bible is accurate," for example - and so it's language devout Catholics might not use, thus the results for cities that are heavily Catholic might be off. Heck, I'm off on a few, and people consider me very religious. But still, the results are revealing, and not surprising.

    Portland-Auburn, Maine, topped the list with a score of 57%.

    Boston, MA-Manchester, NH came in second at  56%. The others in the top 10 are:

    Providence, RI-New Bedford, MA - 53%
    Burlington, VT-Plattsburgh, NY - 53%
    Hartford-New Haven, CT - 52%
    New York, NY - 51%
    San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose, CA - 50%
    Seattle-Tacoma - 50%
    Buffalo, NY - 50% 

    Hey, Buffalo beat us. Given its heavily Catholic population, the number may be slightly off, maybe even enough for us to pass them.

    Philadelphia, PA (11), Tucson-Sierra Vista, AZ (12), and Rochester (13) all tallied a score of 49%.

    Of the top 13, 10 are in New England/Northeast, and two are West Coast. No surprise there.

    When you look at Rochester, the number of colleges and universities likely play a role in helping us to abandon Christianity. We have an active arts/music/theater community as well, and a substantial number of those folks tend to reject traditional religion. As for the religious community, in Rochester there is history of liberalism, heresy, and acceptance of immoral and disordered behavior.

    Still, there are many good people trying to evangelize and turn things around, so I'm optimistic.

    But I will pray for the people of my city - and that my own faith and religious practices might grow and develop.

    Pax et bonum

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