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Natural Awakenings

Switching Religious Affiliations: Many Americans Switch Faiths

Sep 01, 2009 03:00AM

Almost half of American adults have changed religious affiliation at least once during their lives, according to the latest survey by the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life. Most people who change their religion leave their childhood faith before age 24, and many of these who change do so more than once.

Pew further reports that at the same time that the ranks of the “unaffiliated” have grown to about 16 percent, this group has one of the lowest retention rates. More than half of this group believe in God; the status often serves as a way station en route to joining a group that fits their needs. Interestingly, most people who were raised unaffiliated now belong to one religion or another.

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