Americans' confidence in the church or organized religion continues to erode, with 36% now saying they have "a great deal" or "quite a lot" of confidence in organized religion, establishing another new low point in Gallup's trend.
These data are from a June 3-16 Gallup poll, which asked Americans about their level of confidence in "the church or organized religion" along with 14 other institutions.
Confidence in organized religion topped confidence in all other institutions from 1973 to 1985, and, even after falling amid televangelist scandals in the 1980s, it registered at the majority level consistently until 2001. After the Boston Globe's 2002 expose revealed Catholic church leaders were aware of and did not take strong action to stop serial sex abuse by priests, confidence in organized religion dropped sharply to 45%. It recovered slightly in the years after the scandal broke, hovering around the 50% mark. Between 2010 and 2017, it regularly registered in the 40s. Since then, in 2018 and 2019, Americans' confidence in religion has been below the 40% mark.