The United States' northeast region was once home to the Puritans and other devout Christians who came to the New World so they could practice Christianity in freedom.
Today, it is the most "post-Christian" region in America, according to new research by the Barna Group.
The latest Barna study reveals that northeast cities rank in the top eight out of 10 most post-Christian cities in America.
The top 10 include:
- Springfield-Holyoke, MA
- Portland-Auburn, ME
- Providence, RI
- New Bedford, MA
- Burlington, VT
- Boston, MA
- Manchester, NH
- Albany-Schenectady-Troy, NY
- Hartford-New Haven, CT
- Rochester, NY
- Santa Barbara-Santa Maria-San Luis Obispo, CA
- Seattle-Tacoma, WA
In the study, Barna defines "post Christian" according to 16 characteristics, including whether individuals identify as atheist, have never made a commitment to Jesus, have not attended church in the last year or have not read the Bible in the last week.
The research was conducted over a 10-year period. The data was collected from 21,378 people.
Barna wrote in 2017 that "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."
"These are unique days for the church in America as it learns what it means to flourish in a new 'Post-Christian' era," Barna states.