Pew study: Americans say religious aspects of Christmas on decline; few bothered by trend

WXIA Live News

As the debate wears on about whether people should bid others a "Merry Christmas" or "Happy Holiday," a new study from the Pew Research Center found that fewer Americans are emphasizing the religious aspects of Christmas – and most are OK with that. 

According to the study, not only is some of the religious symbolism associated with Christmas – i.e. Nativity scenes – fading from the public sphere, it's also fading from people's private lives, too. Numbers from the study show that about 55% of U.S. adults say they celebrate Christmas as a religious holiday. That's down from 59% in 2013. The results showed that fewer people also believe the biblical version of events reflect historical events that actually occurred.

The number of people who view Christmas as more of a religious holiday than a cultural one is also down – from 51% in 2013 to 46%.

While the celebration of Christmas as a religious holiday is on the downward trend, Pew results show that the number of Americans who mark the holiday, regardless of religion, has remained relatively unchanged. Nearly 90% of Americans said they celebrate the holiday, a number the research center says is nearly identical to 2013 numbers.

One final aspect of the new study seems to show that a rising number of Americans reported they don't have a preference about how they're greeted during the holiday season. A little more than half of the population say they don't care whether they're greeted with "Merry Christmas." 

Overall, the study found that nearly a third are bothered "some" by the decline in religion's role in Christmas, however the other two-thirds is either not bothered by the trend or believe religion in Christmas is not fading.

Read the complete results from the Pew Study here.

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