By Sarah Pulliam Bailey
The decline reflects a larger trend of Americans leaving Christianity at a rapid pace. According to the Pew Research Center, 65 percent of Americans describe themselves as Christians, down 12 percentage points during the past decade.
Southern Baptist baptisms fell by more than 4 percent, a key metric in measuring new members of the faith. Average weekly worship service and Sunday school or small-group attendance each dropped by less than 1 percent. Giving was down, and total church receipts fell 1.44 percent to $11.6 billion.
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