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Photo: Hanan Isachar/Getty Images

The share of Americans with no religious affiliation is rising significantly in tandem with a sharp drop in the percentage that identifies as Christians, reports AP, based on data from the Pew Research Center.

The big picture: Many of the country's biggest religious institutions are mired in upheaval and scandal, as well as criticized for failing to adapt to modern norms, further alienating potential attendees.

  • The Catholic Church and Southern Baptist Convention are both facing ongoing sex abuse scandals.
  • The United Methodist Church, which comprises the largest group of Protestants in the U.S., is facing a possible schism over the inclusion of LGBTQ in its community.

By the numbers: Pew said 65% of American adults describe themselves as Christian, down from 77% in 2009, based on telephone surveys from 2018 and 2019.

  • The percentage of people who identify as atheist, agnostic or "nothing in particular," often referred to as the "nones," stands at 26%, up from 17% in 2009.
  • 43% of U.S. adults identify as Protestant, compared to 51% in 2009.
  • 20% of U.S. adults identify as Catholic, compared to 23% in 2009.

Go deeper: Religion is fueling a new wave of immigration activism

Go deeper

Updated 1 hour ago - Technology

Mayors see cryptocurrency as a way to address income inequality

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

At the U.S. Conference of Mayors' meeting in D.C. this week, there's buzz around the idea of giving cryptocurrency accounts to low-income people.

Why it matters: Cities have been experimenting with newfangled ways to address income inequality — like guaranteed income programs — and the latest wave of trials could involve paying benefits or dividends in bitcoin, stablecoin or other digital currencies.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Health: FDA OKs antiviral drug remdesivir for non-hospitalized COVID patients — Walensky: CDC language "pivoting" on "fully vaccinated" — Fauci: "Confident" Omicron cases will peak in February
  2. Vaccines: Team USA 100% vaccinated against COVID ahead of Beijing Olympics — Kids' COVID vaccination rates are particularly low in rural America — Annual COVID vaccine preferable to boosters, says Pfizer CEO.
  3. Politics: Arizona governor sues Biden administration over COVID funds tied to mandates — Biden concedes U.S. should have done more testing — Arizona says it "will not be intimidated" on anti-mask school policies.
  4. World: Greece imposes vaccine mandate for people 60 and older — Austria approves COVID vaccine mandate for adults — Beijing officials urge COVID-19 "emergency mode" before Winter Olympics.
  5. Variant tracker
Updated 4 hours ago - Sports

Experts predict major boom for North American sports stadiums

Rendering of the $375 million Moody Center on the UT-Austin campus. Photo courtesy of Moody Center

Stadium and arena construction in North America will total a relatively tame $5.8 billion this year, a 12% decrease from 2021.

The big picture: What the industry lacks in construction it expects to make up for in design, with experts predicting a sports venue boom over the next half-decade, SBJ reports.