Most Americans Raised by Christian Moms Are Still Christians Today: Poll

  • Michael Foust Crosswalk Headlines Contributor
  • Updated May 12, 2023
Most Americans Raised by Christian Moms Are Still Christians Today: Poll

The large majority of children who grow up with a Christian mom remain Christian as adults, according to new research from the American Bible Society that also shows faith has more "staying" power among kids than atheism.

The research, part of the society's "State of the Bible" report, found that 73 percent of children who grew up Protestant remained either Protestant or "other Christian" as adults. Four percent are now Catholic, while 19 percent say they identify as an atheist/agnostic or "none."

Among children who grew up Catholic, 57 percent remained Catholic as an adult, while 6 percent are now Protestant and 14 percent are "other Christian." One-fifth (21 percent) now identify as atheist/agnostic or "none."

"A well-known proverb offers this expectation: 'Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it' (Proverbs 22:6). This verse has challenged and comforted many Christian mothers and fathers through the years," the report said.

The new data on moms "bears out" the verse, the report said.

Meanwhile, one-third (32 percent) of adults who grew up atheist/agnostic/none say they are now Christian. This movement is larger than the movement out of the faith camps: One-fifth of adults who grew up Protestant or Catholic now identify as atheist/agnostic/none.

"Christian history is well-populated with faithful mothers," the report said. "The Bible tells of Timothy's faith being influenced by his mother, Eunice, and his grandmother, Lois. Bishop Augustine recognized the powerful prayers of his mother, Monica. Reformers John and Charles Wesley were grateful for the guidance of their mother, Susanna. These are just a few of the more prominent examples. Millions more stories could be told, even today."

The survey was based on interviews with 2,761 Americans in January.

Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/monkeybusiness

Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.