Subtitles section Play video Print subtitles Between 1990-2010, liberal/moderate Christian denominations lost followers while conservative and stricter denominations like Evangelicals held strong. A theory called Strict church theory suggests that people join strict religious communities for the quantifiable benefits of their piety. According to economist Laurence Iannaccone, people considered a better religion to be more costly to produce and consume, signaling stronger commitment and loyalty. The theory suggests that by imposing stringent rules, costs, and sanctions, these groups create a strong sense of community and identity, filtering out free riders and fostering cooperation among members. However, Critics argue that the theory oversimplifies religious experience and is subjected to selection bias and ethnocentrism. Recent data also suggested the religious landscape in the United States is not predominantly dominated by conservatives but is influenced by various factors, presenting a complex and nuanced picture while not necessarily defying the strict church theory. Check out my video in the comment for more detail.