18 Reasons for the Resurgence of Religion Among Americans

SharePinEmailAcross history, some common trends can be observed in human behavior, and during periods of instability, whether from famine, war, or economic crisis, these events are usually accompanied by an increase in people returning to religiosity.  While some reasons for this are obvious, such as a need for reassurance, an increased need to feel supported,…

Across history, some common trends can be observed in human behavior, and during periods of instability, whether from famine, war, or economic crisis, these events are usually accompanied by an increase in people returning to religiosity. 

While some reasons for this are obvious, such as a need for reassurance, an increased need to feel supported, or a search for answers in difficult times, others can be due to a more complex combination of psycho-social, political, and cultural factors. 

Let’s explore 18 reasons why Americans are returning to religion:

Global Instability

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It’s fair to say that in 2024, the world feels like an unstable place, with the war in Ukraine, a recent global pandemic, and a cost of living crisis. These events have made many Americans feel insecure. This is one of the reasons why some Americans have been turning back to religion, as they seek comfort and reassurance from the Church. 

Community and Connection

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America has become a very individualized society with many people living alone, with fewer and fewer social connections. This has resulted in an uptick of Americans seeking community and connection via the church. 

Nuclear Families

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In the past, most children were raised within extended families, and most people’s grandparents, aunts, and uncles lived nearby. But in 2024, the nuclear family has become the prevalent structure which has left a lot of parents, and children feeling alone and isolated with the heavy burden of child care as they struggle to balance work and child minding. 

This is another factor that has motivated many Americans to turn back to religion, as church culture often feels like an extended family, and congregation members can help each other out in times of need. 

Increased Spirituality

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There seems to have been a recent increase in spirituality among younger generations, and while this may not necessarily indicate a return to traditional Christian religion, there does seem to be an uptick in Americans engaging in spiritual practice, whether that’s Buddhism, Tai Chi, Islam, or other forms of spirituality. A higher proportion of American society is seeking solace from spiritual sources. 

Increase in Online Worship 

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The advancement of technology has removed the need for people to go to a physical church for worship, and the pandemic fast-tracked the opportunity to attend online mass, and sermons.

 For younger generations who prefer doing things online, this has helped to motivate them to join a religious community, as they can still explore the experience without having to overcommit, or feel awkward at large church gatherings as a “new recruit”. 

Faith and Politics

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Recently, American politics and religion have become somewhat intertwined with political candidates from both the main parties using issues of morality, and ethics to get votes. 

This has brought religious arguments back into the mainstream consciousness of the American people, with many debates, and protests being broadcast on primetime TV, and news channels, Americans have found themselves confronting their own religious beliefs, with many reconsidering a return to the church. 

Modernized Forms of Worship

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Gone are the days of sitting for what felt like hours in a cold drafty church while a pastor spoke at length. Recently there has been a rise in new churches that attract much younger members, who base their worship around music. 

By creating church services that feel more like rock concerts, churches like Hill Song have grown exponentially, boasting memberships of millions worldwide. This new modernized approach to worship has encouraged many Americans to turn back to religion. 

Economic Support

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America is in the grip of a cost-of-living crisis, and many families have been struggling to make ends meet. This has led people to rely on the goodwill and charity of their local church. Religious organizations across America have been distributing food parcels, and welcoming those facing poverty to church-run food banks. 

This invaluable support in their time of need has made many Americans appreciate the good work of their local church members and encouraged many to return to their faith. 

Mental Health and Wellbeing 

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Being a member of a religious congregation has been linked to positive benefits for mental health, and overall wellbeing. With so much negativity in the news and media at the moment, some Americans have sought solace and kinship by joining their local Church.

Educational Opportunities

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As many Americans find themselves struggling financially, the opportunity for their children to receive low-cost education via religious-funded schools and/or University places is more attractive than ever. This is another reason why some Americans have been re-engaging with religion and religious education. 

Cultural Shifts

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While religion seemed to be “out of fashion” for the last few decades, it has recently become more “acceptable,” and even trendy to be seen to have faith and be proud of it. 

With pop stars like Justin Bieber and reality TV stars like the Kardashians being vocal supporters of the Christian faith, this has helped to normalize, and even make professing your faith on social media, appear “cool”. This has served to help remove some of the stigma that religious Americans may have faced in the past, prompting more people to re-join religion. 

Political Instability

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America and the world are in a period of political instability, and with the upcoming presidential election, Americans have been feeling the urge to reconnect with a higher power or authority that’s away from the chaos of their political system, and for many, this has led them back to God. 

The Pandemic

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The global pandemic was a time of massive upheaval and challenges for Americans, with many facing unprecedented choices. The pandemic was a survival situation that unfortunately saw many people lose loved ones, and this left many Americans dealing with grief and trying to make sense of big questions about life and death. 

Nearly 28% of Americans attest to having a stronger religious faith because of the pandemic. In a search for meaning and answers, many Americans have turned to God to help them cope with their grief and post-pandemic trauma. 

Guidance 

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Human beings like certainty and predictability. Recently Americans haven’t had much of either, and this has left a void in their lives and a lack of direction. With the Biden and Trump debacle continuing, the economy still struggling and a lack of community, Americans have been turning back to religion for guidance and direction in their lives. 

Racial Injustice

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The Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement caused mass protests across America, and it was a time of civil unrest that hadn’t been witnessed for decades. The brutal killing of George Floyd and other victims by security forces provoked a lack of faith and trust in the powers that are supposed to protect Americans, and this partly motivated some to return to religion in search of support and a feeling of protection. 

Traditional Values

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While evidence suggests that young women in America are becoming more progressive and more liberal, research also shows that young men appear to be moving in the opposite direction, and back towards more traditional values. 

It appears that young males, especially Gen Z, are embracing more traditional values around gender roles and relationships. There has also been an increase in this generation embracing a return to religion, and traditional religious values. 

Moral Compass

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With so much uncertainty, negative news cycles, toxic social media trends, and conflict in the world, Americans have been motivated to seek out a moral compass that can point them in the direction of wholesomeness, kindness, and positivity. Religion has been able to fulfill this need. 

Structure and Routine 

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Humans like to feel that they have a sense of structure and routine in their lives. With so much uncertainty and change after the pandemic, with political unrest and economic instability, many Americans have found the structure and routine or organized religion attractive. It has given them a feeling of perceived stability and structure. 

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