Cities in eight states from Maine to Massachusetts topped a list of the “Most Post-Christian Cities in America,” a new study released this month found. The Northeast region stands in stark contrast to the sole Tennessee city of Knoxville who barely cracked the top 100 – coming in at #99.
The study, conducted by Barna research, is part of an ongoing survey of Americans based on a random sample of 21,378 adults conducted over a ten-year period.
To be identified as post-Christian, an individual had to meet nine or more of the following factors:
– 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
Each city was then evaluated based on the percentage of its population that is considered post-Christian.
The Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul ranked 48th on the list with 44 percent of the area’s population meeting nine or more of the post-Christian metrics. That number is up from Barna research’s 2017 study, which found that 41 percent of the population was post-Christian.
Among Ohio’s cities, Toledo was highest on the list in the number 35 spot and 47 percent of its residents are considered post-Christian. In Columbus, 42 percent of residents qualify as post-Christian, followed by Cleveland at 39 percent, and Dayton and Cincinnati – both tied at 38 percent.
Southern states like Tennessee were notably lower on the list. The only Tennessee city to make the top-100 list was Knoxville, where 32 percent of residents are considered post-Christian.
According to the survey, Detroit is the most post-Christian city in Michigan with 48 percent of residents fitting the description.
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