With the exception of evangelicals, fewer and fewer residents of the United States associate Christmas with the traditional story of the birth of Jesus and more and more people prefer to use the generic greeting "Happy Holidays" at this time of year, today revealed a new survey national.
The poll, conducted by LifeWay Research, an evangelical firm in Nashville, Tennessee, found that the "religious significance" of Christmas has declined in the United States even among Christians over the past five years.
In specific numbers, two out of every three inhabitants of the country, 65%, regardless of their religion or nationality, believe that Christmas must be connected to the story of Jesus. But in 2014, the most recent year with a similar survey, that figure was 79%.
At the same time, in that same time the percentage of people who do not know what the meaning of Christmas went from 3% to 16%. And in 2018 just under one in five respondents (19%) disagree that Christmas focuses on Jesus, unchanged from the previous survey.
The survey also found a marked decrease in Christmas support for people of non-Christian religions, which in 2014 was 63% and currently is 35%.
While before almost half (46%) of non-religious accepted Christmas, now that number decreased to 28%, the survey indicates.
According to Scott McConnell, executive director of LifeWay Research, an organization that studies the relationship between churches and culture, "many have the idea that all Americans are the same and that we all share the culture of baseball, apple pie and Christmas, but that is not the case. "
"When we meet someone whose beliefs are different from ours, a disagreement is generated, and for some that is an offense," he added.
According to McConnell, these groups "probably feel nostalgic for the past" or "are reluctant to acknowledge that not everyone celebrates Christmas at this time of year."
Simultaneously, he affirms, the majority no longer considers as "an offense" replacing "Merry Christmas" with a more inclusive greeting.
The survey revealed that among non-evangelical Christians the connection between Christmas and the story of Jesus has lost ground, with 91% support in 2014 and 81% this year.
For this reason it is not surprising that for 60% of Christians in the United States it is not problematic to say or hear "Happy Holidays".
At the same time, more than 90% of evangelicals and Christians over 50 still prefer the history and traditional greetings of these dates.