Hartford (WTNH) - A new study shows a growing number of people don't identify withany religion leaving many to wonder if faith is being put on theback burner.
"In God we trust"...or, do we? It seems when it comes toreligion we, as a society, have become a bit skeptical. A newsurvey out of TrinityCollege, in Hartford, is sending shock waves across Connecticutand the country.
"It's a very big change nationally," said Barry Kosmin ofTrinity College.
Kosmin and Ariela Keysar are the lead investigators of thereport. They call themselves "nones" -- not to be confused with theCatholic sisters. But when asked, "What religion do you follow?"They simply will reply, "None."
"Every region and state in the country is showing the sametrend," said Kosmin.
Not all of the "nones" are atheists. Many believe in God butdon't believe in the church, the temple or the mosque.
Statistically there's more men than women, more young peoplethan old. But the "nones" include all races, religions andethnicities.
Their findings are reflected on these streets.
"I go to church sometimes, like with my grandma or somethinglike that, but other than that, I don't really go to church," saidAlizea Thomas of Hartford.
Diana Colombo said she's still religious, and raised herchildren that way, but it's not the same as when she wasraised.
"I still pray, I still go to mass, I still go to church but I'mnot as into it as I was brought up to be," she said.
Why the change of heart? The shift began back in the 1990's.
That year, the "nones" were numbered 14-million; now, it's morethan doubled to 34-million.
In prosperous times, attendance at religious services tends tolag. In recession, it picks up again. So the trend has slowed a bitbut continued since the 90's.
"Your next question's going to be, why in the 1990's? I'm goingto tell you, that will be the next piece of research because nobodyreally knows," said Kosmin.
The state with the highest number of "nones" is Vermont and thelowest is Mississippi. There is a large percentage of formerCatholics in areas, like New England, where the church scandals hithard. There was a disproportionate number of Catholics,particularly men, leaving; they didn't change religions, justdecided against them.
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