The research group Barna has released its list of America’s most secular cities.
Barna is a Christian research group specializing in surveys and polls having to do with religion and faith. In order to determine America top ten most post-Christian cities, Barna based the research on 16 different criteria:
“To qualify as ‘post-Christian,’ individuals had to meet nine or more characteristics including Identify as atheist or agnostic, Have not prayed to God (in the last week), Disagree the Bible is accurate, Have not attended a Christian church, and Not Born Again.”
Based on these criteria, the top 10 most post-Christian cities turned out to be:
- Portland-Auburn, ME
- Boston, MA-Manchester, NH
- Albany-Schenectady-Troy, NY
- Providence, RI-New Bedford, MA
- Burlington, VT-Plattsburgh, NY
- Hartford-New Haven, CT
- New York, NY
- San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose, CA
- Seattle-Tacoma, WA
- Buffalo, NY
Barna suggests the role of Christians in society and efforts at evangelism might be driving the trend. He points out that church attendance is decreasing and the number of people who believe in God, pray regularly and read their bible has also dropped. Barna says, by consequence, the role of religion in public life has been slowly diminishing, and the church no longer functions with the cultural authority it held in times past. He says these are unique days for the church in America as it learns what it means to flourish in a new ‘Post-Christian’ era.