The United States of America was founded on several principles, which include a democratic form of government. However, one of the most important principles outlined by the founders of the country was freedom of religion. People in the U.S. are free to practice the religion of their choice without fear of persecution. Religious persecution was one of the main reasons many immigrants fled their countries to live in the United States. Various religious faiths have flourished within the United States. A majority of Americans report that religion plays a very important role in their lives, a proportion unique among developed countries. Christianity is the most popular religion in the country, but it is not the only one practiced here by far.
During the country's infancy, Anglicans, Roman Catholics, and mainline Protestants, as well as Jews, arrived from Europe. Various Protestants, who left the Church of England, greatly diversified the religious landscape. Methodist and Baptist churches increased drastically. Jehovah's Witnesses and the Latter Day Saint movement spread also. Beginning in 1990s, the religious share of Christians is decreasing due to secularization, while Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, and other religions are spreading. Protestantism, historically dominant, ceased to be the religious category of the majority in the early 2010s. What is most important, however, is that all religions are safe to practice in the United States.
Christianity is not the only religion to see a decline in membership in recent years. Nearly all religions are shrinking in size because of the country's move to a more secular way of life. Atheism is on the rise in the country as the number of people who claim to be atheist or to have no religious connection is increasing.
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