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Poll: Fewer Americans identify as Christian

By Amy R. Connolly
Poll: Fewer Americans identify as Christian
About 75 percent of Americans identify as Christians, down 5 percent since 2008, a new Gallup poll found. Pictured: A large group of people listen to speakers during Memorial Day services in May 2006 at Mt. Soledad War Memorial in San Diego. The cross was ordered off public land after years of litigation over the separation of church and state. Photo by Earl S. Cryer/UPI | License Photo

WASHINGTON, Dec. 24 (UPI) -- About 75 percent of Americans identified as Christians in 2015, representing little change from 2014 but a 5 percent drop since 2008, a new Gallup poll found.

The poll, a review of more than 174,000 interviews in 2015, found about 5 percent of Americans identify with a non-Christian religion. It also found 20 percent have no formal religious identification, which is up 5 percentage points since 2008, the first year Gallup began tracking the data.

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"One key to the future of Christian representation in the U.S. population will be shifts in the religious identification of today's youngest cohorts," pollsters said. "Traditionally, Americans have become more likely to identify with a religion as they age through their 30s and 40s and get married and have children. If this pattern does not occur in the same way it has in the past, the percentage of Christians nationwide will likely continue to shrink."

The Gallup poll seems to corroborate findings by the Pew Research Center in May that said 7.8 percent fewer people described themselves as Christians in 2014 than in 2007, with an increasing number identifying as agnostic, atheist or say they have no religion.

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