Men are to blame: As previously stated, 26% of Catholic men claim they go to church on a regular basis, compared to 42% of Protestant males. There is no difference between Protestant and Catholic women in this regard; around half of each group says they attend church at least once a week.
However, it's important to note that not all Catholics go to Mass every day. Only 70% of Catholics say they attend Mass regularly - the other 30% say they go sometimes but not always. This compares with 96% of Protestants who say they attend church regularly.
There are several reasons why men tend not to go to church. The first is religious indifference - many men don't feel a need to go to church because they believe everything they need for salvation is found in Jesus Christ alone. However, religious indifference is common among both Catholics and Protestants. About one in five people from either faith group say they don't go to church because they don't believe in it or because they think there is another way to reach God.
The second reason is lack of opportunity. Around one in four men say there is no place within walking distance of their home where they can go to church. This is more common among Catholic men (30%) than Protestant men (20%). Men without access to church may drive past one on their way to work or visit a church when someone else takes them along.
While Protestants who attend religious services are more likely to identify with the traditional sola fide perspective, the proportion of Protestants who visit church regularly is in the single digits in practically every nation in the area. In Germany, the birthplace of the Reformation, only 7% of Protestants claim they go to church on a weekly basis. In the United States, where 95% of Americans identify as Protestant, only 46% say they go to church at least once a week.
In addition to being one of the most secular countries in the world, Europe is also home to a small but active community of Orthodox Christians. There are about 150,000 Orthodox in Russia alone. Although they retain many Orthodox practices, these people are not considered part of the Russian Church Abroad but rather belong to separate churches that have split off from the Russian Orthodox Church over time-most notably in 861 when Nicolae and Michael I were fighting for control of the Bulgarian Empire.
There are also small groups of Orthodox Christians in other parts of Europe including Greece, Romania, Serbia, and Ukraine. Together they account for less than 1% of all Orthodox worldwide but they live in many different countries so their total influence is quite small.
Finally, there are some Orthodox Christians in Africa. There are only about 50,000 Orthodox in Africa compared with 250 million Protestants worldwide so this group has little influence on the overall state of Christianity as a whole.
Four out of every ten Catholics in the United States claim they go to Mass on a weekly basis. Few cultural Catholics (4%) agree, although over half say they go to Mass at least once a month. Meanwhile, an overwhelming majority of ex-Catholics (82%) say they never attend Mass in a Catholic church.
Former Catholics make up a large portion of the U.S. population. In fact, one out of five Americans was raised as a Catholic but now attends no church regularly. This group is predominantly young and racially diverse. They tend to be less educated than average and come from low-income families.
Among current Catholics, age plays a role in attendance rates. While most young adults (age 18-29) say they attend Mass weekly or more, this number drops significantly for those over 60 years old. Still, eight in ten older Catholics say they feel welcome at their local churches. And while fewer than half of all Catholics say they attend Mass regularly, many more visit their local parish occasionally or even just once in a while.
Gender also affects attendance rates. Women are more likely than men to say they attend Mass weekly or more (58% vs. 49%). However, when it comes to visiting parishes, there is no difference between men and women (55% vs. 53%).
Non-Catholic Christians are also likely to attend Mass sometimes but not regularly.