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Why Most U.S. ‘Nones’ Remain Unaffiliated from Religion

The leading reason U.S. adults are “nones” – atheists, agnostics or unaffiliated with any religious tradition – is due to questioning religious teachings, according to a Pew Research Center report released Aug. 8.

Sixty percent of all “nones” said this is a “very important reason they are unaffiliated.”

Other leading reasons were disliking social and political stances of churches (49 percent), not liking religious organizations (41 percent), not believing in God (37 percent), seeing religion as irrelevant (36 percent) and disliking religious leaders (34 percent).

When asked to identify the most important reason for lack of affiliation, not believing in God was the primary reason for atheists (75 percent), while questioning religious teachings was the most common reason for agnostics (38 percent).

Respondents who identified as “nothing in particular” had more varied responses, with 28 percent saying there wasn’t a single reason, 25 percent questioning religious teachings, and 21 percent not liking church stances on social / political issues.

Only 8 percent said lack of belief in God was their primary reason for not affiliating.

The full report is available here.