This week, Christianity Today featured a recent survey by the Barna Group, which identified places “where the fewest people follow Christian beliefs and practices, as measured by a list of more than a dozen factors.” The most post-Christian cities were in New England, with Santa Barbara and Seattle not far behind. As Don Loomer observed “People hardly think about [God]…If the sun’s out and the surf’s up, you say goodbye!”
The article goes rank 100 metropolitan areas in terms of whether they attend church, have read the Christian bible recently, or “made a commitment to Jesus”. While Pittsburgh was not in top 10 of “post-Christian cities”, it come in a respectable 36 out of 100, well ahead of Johnstown-Altoona-State College (53), Cleveland-Akron-Canton (67), and other nearby cities.
Of course, the authors try to look for the brighter side of the survey, as when Eliezer Perez made the rather odd statement that “Post-Christian doesn’t mean anti-Christian. If it’s post-Christian, then that means there is Christian.”
In reality, it seems to confirm to what we know about religion in the US, as well as in Canada and western Europe. The numbers of citizens who find solace in religion is shrinking and that time enjoying friends, reading an engaging book, exercising and socializing will do more for the mind and body. It will be interesting to see how much a drop the next edition of the survey will report in regard to religion in America. We won’t be surfing in the sun in Pittsburgh, but I am sure the numbers will continue to fall.