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The Christian Majority

The United States has the largest Christian population of any country on earth. Although the proportion of Christians saw a slight decline in the last two decades of the 20th century, Christians still make up nearly four-fifths of the American population.

American Christianity encompasses many sects and theologies, and yet breaks down into three major classifications: Evangelical Protestants, Mainline Protestants, and Roman Catholics. The broad Evangelical classification is the largest group, and it is growing. Roman Catholics, nevertheless, outnumber any individual Protestant or Evangelical denomination.

American Christianity is by no means monolithic. Roman Catholic and Protestant theologies have radically different approaches to theological issues, and even lifestyle. Protestantism itself divides into dozens of independent denominations, each with different practices and administrative hierarchies.

A number of Christian groups do not fall into the broader classifications: the Eastern Orthodox Church, Armenian and Polish National Catholics, The Church of Latter Day Saints (Mormons), Jehovah’s Witnesses, Unitarians and Christian Scientists, plus many smaller sects.

Among non-Christians, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism cover about 5% of the American population, with those having no religious affiliation accounting for the remaining 15%.

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