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Christmas Eve: Three in Four Americans Identify as Christian

On this Christmas Eve, three in four Americans identify as Christian, according to surveys conducted this year.

Gallup reports that, based on 173, 490 interviews conducted as part of its daily tracking from Jan. 2 to Dec. 21, the vast majority of Americans still consider themselves to be some variety of Christian. More than half still attend religious services at least monthly.

According to Gallup, about half of Americans are some form of Protestant or other non-Catholic Christian, down one percentage point from last year. Some 24 percent are Catholic. Next are the 16 percent who identified as atheist or agnostic — up one percentage point compared to 2013. After that, two percent are Mormon, two percent Jewish, one percent are Muslim, three percent are some other non-Christian religion, and three percent has no response.

Gallup notes that the slight decrease in Protestant identity in concert with the one percent rise in atheist/agnostic identity jibs with the trends of more than a half century.

“In the 1950s, Gallup surveys showed that up to 71% of Americans identified as Protestant, and small percentages had no religious identity,” Gallup reports. “Then, as now, however, well more than 90% of Americans who express a religious preference identify themselves as Christians.”

And while there has been a slight uptick in non-believers, 53 percent of Americans report attending religious services regularly or at least once a month. Just one in five Americans report never attending religious services.

Of the listed faiths, Mormons report the highest attendance rate of all — with 75 percent reporting attending almost every week. Compare that to 53 percent of Protestants who reported attending weekly, 50 percent of Muslims, 45 percent of Catholics, 19 percent of Jews, and 19 percent of other non-Christian religions.

“The U.S. remains a largely Christian nation, with over three-quarters of Americans identifying as Protestant, Catholic or Mormon,” Gallup concludes. “The U.S. also remains a generally observant nation as measured by Americans’ self-reported attendance at religious services. Eight in 10 Americans attend religious services at least occasionally, while more than half attend monthly or more frequently. Mormons attend religious services most frequently, while those who identify as Jewish or with some other non-Christian religions attend the least.”

The survey results have a +/- one percentage point margin of error.

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