Researcher Says Divorce Rate Among Christians Lower Than Previously Thought

Researcher Says Divorce Rate Among Christians Lower Than Previously Thought

Harvard-trained researcher Shaunti Feldhahn says for years she was troubled with the staggering statistic touted by most social commentators claiming a 50 percent divorce rate in the United States, but equally concerned that the same rate applied to Christians, too.

Eight years ago Feldhahn set out to investigate the validity of the widely shared statistic.

According to Charisma Magazine, Feldhahn discovered the divorce rate is actually closer to 31 percent. Christians who attend church regularly fair even better. It’s “maybe 15 percent, maybe 20 percent for all marriages,” said Feldhahn.

In her new book The Good News About Marriage: Debunking Discouraging Myths about Marriage and Divorce, Feldhahn claims confidence in marriage has been undermined by persistent misunderstandings and imperfect data.

"Pastors need to know this," said Feldhahn. "People need to be able to look around the average congregation and say, 'You know what, most of these people will have strong and happy marriages for a lifetime. Doing what God says matters. This is a big deal to know."

In a CBN report Feldhahn explains that she believes the assumption that churchgoers experience a high divorce rate "demoralizes Christians and can even cause them to question their faith."

Feldhahn said couples have options to divorce-proof their marriage.

"People who decide not to live together before they get married, that has been proven to have a really good effect on the marriage," she stated. "And so you might get down to the 5, 10 percent divorce odds."

Publication date: June 25, 2014