American Catholics less devoted, study suggested

A new study has found that Catholics now have the lowest proportion of “strongly affiliated” followers among America’s major religious traditions, while evangelicals are growing stronger in their devotion to their faith.

Philip Schwadel, a sociologist at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, whose findings rely on a survey conducted among a cross-section of Americans on an annual or bi-annual basis since 1974, notes that from about a 5-percentage-point difference in the 1970s in how strongly Catholics and evangelicals felt about their religion, it has increased to around 20 percentage points today.

Roughly 56 per cent of evangelicals now say they’re strongly affiliated with their religion, as opposed to 35 per cent of Catholics who say the same. Mainline Protestants also have a higher level of religious devotion (39 per cent) than Catholics.