Director, Commonwealth Policy Center

According to the latest Gallup poll the percentage of adults who are members of a church has declined to a low of 50 percent. Declines were heaviest among those who identified as Democrats and Hispanics. The decline is significant. In 1999, 70 percent of Americans belonged to a church or religious body. During the same time,  the percentage of U.S. adults with no religious affiliation has increased from 8 percent to 19 percent. To some, this news might seemed welcomed news as churches have been viewed as vestiges of medieval thinking. However, consider the contribution that churches make to a community. Caring for the poor, feeding the hungry, sheltering the homeless. Churches also teach Biblical truths about man's relationship to God and society. It can be said that our nation is better off because of churches. And when membership declines, we all suffer.