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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

22 mins ago - World

U.S. intelligence expects a stormy year in the Middle East

A technical team explodes remnant ammunition near Sirte, Libya. Photo: Mohammed Ertima/Anadolu Agency via Getty

Ongoing conflicts, economic crises and the fallout from COVID-19 will likely destabilize several countries in the Middle East in 2021 and could even put some on the brink of collapse, according to the U.S. intelligence community's annual Threat Assessment Report, released on Tuesday.

Why it matters: The report is the most comprehensive assessment the intelligence community produces every year. It paints a portrait of conflicts, insurgencies, terrorism and protest movements across the Middle East.

Updated 24 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Officer Kim Potter arrested, charged with manslaughter in Daunte Wright's death

Photo: Bruce Bisping/Star Tribune via Getty Images

Kim Potter, the former police officer who fatally shot Daunte Wright outside Minneapolis on Sunday, was arrested and charged by Washington County Pete Orput with second-degree manslaughter on Wednesday.

Why it matters: The shooting of the 20-year-old Black man in Brooklyn Center, Minn., just ten miles from where George Floyd was killed by a Minneapolis police officer last year, has reinvigorated Black Lives Matter protests and led to three consecutive nights of unrest.

Tech dominates highest paying pandemic internships list

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

In the past year as the pandemic raged on, some of the world's most valuable companies continued to grow and compensate their workers well above national medians – interns included.

Driving the news: Workplace review platform Glassdoor published its 2021 report today on the 25 highest paying U.S. internships.