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Women's church attendance drops off steeply, survey says

Women's church attendance drops off steeply, survey says

Women have long been considered the primary church attenders.  No more, says the Barna Group reporting in a new survey this week.   The survey says that church attendance by women has dropped 44 percent. Volunteering at church and for Sunday school has also dropped, while the reading of the Bible, at 50 percent twenty years ago, has dropped to 40 percent.  HoustonBelief reports:

The survey also found a marked stepping away from congregations: a 17 percentage increase in the number of women who have become "unchurched."

"For years, many church leaders have understood that 'as go women, so goes the American church,' " wrote Barna Group founder George Barna, on his website. "Looking at the trends over the past 20 years, and especially those related to the beliefs and behavior of women, you might conclude that things are not going well for conventional Christian churches."

The Ventura, Calif.-based researchers compared surveys of more than 1,000 people in 1991 and 2011.

They found that the percentage of women who strongly believe the Bible is accurate in all it teaches declined by 7 percentage points to 42 percent. And those who view God as "the all-knowing, all-powerful and perfect Creator of the universe who still rules the world today" dropped from 80 percent to 70 percent.

"Women used to put men to shame in terms of their orthodoxy of belief and the breadth and consistency of their religious behavior," wrote Barna. "No more; the religious gender gap has substantially closed."

About Dakota O'Leary

Dakota O'Leary is a freethinker, and often sassy, scholar of theology and literature. She got her Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Theology from the State University of New York College at Buffalo, and her Master of Arts degree in Theology and Literature from Antioch University-Midwest. She is a contributing writer focusing on eschatology, biblical prophecy, and general religious news. Dakota is a co-host of the God Discussion radio show, offering insight to the news stories of the week. We like to call her "our in-house Biblical prophecy expert" as her articles on eschatology have received over 200,000 views on God Discussion.
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