Switching religions

A significant number of people move from their childhood faith to another, as shown in this diagram from Eclectic Christian and Internet Monk:


Most who “change faiths” do so by age 23 or 24. After that people are mostly set in their ways.

Note that we Evangelicals lose about as many of our own children as we gain converts through evangelism. Something is seriously wrong here.

Grace and Peace

P.S. Eclectic Christian has a larger version of this diagram.

5 thoughts on “Switching religions

  1. rodjean

    Hello. I stumbled onto your blog from Strange Maps. I enjoyed the above chart and wondered if anyone has charted Christian “way stations.” I moved from Roman Catholic to agnostic to Mainline Protestant to Evangelical over 59 years, and I suspect others have experienced changing (dare I say, “evolving” beliefs over the course of their lives.


  2. Matt Strid

    Interesting comment by Rodjean.

    Do you know where the data for this diagram comes from? I would like to use the raw data, if possible.


  3. geochristian

    Rodjean: Thanks for your comment. The diagram I have here is somewhat limited and doesn’t show the complete paths that people take, which would be fascinating. It also might end up looking like a plate of spaghetti.

    Matt: I think if you follow the links at Internet Monk you will find the raw data.


  4. lightsmith

    What’s most interesting to me is that the group apparently showing the biggest gains between childhood and adulthood is “none”. If that trend continues, we might expect the influence of religion to decline steadily, as more people in each succeeding generation are raised without indoctrination.

    Of course, it isn’t quite that simple. While “none” is my own adult religion (having left the mainline Protestant faith of my youth), my children are being raised Catholic, because that is what my wife wants. My brother converted to Judaism (which I guess would be “other” here) when he married, and has (so far) not had any children. My sister married a mainline Protestant preacher, and her child seems to be following Buddhism today (another “other”).

    Freedom of religion is a wonderful thing, isn’t it?


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