imagesEfforts to boost church membership by making the theology “mainstream” are backfiring, a new report shows.

Rather than growing, the Pew Research Center finds membership in “open and affirming” churches is collapsing, and many people are switching to strongly evangelical churches.

Pew’s survey of American religious beliefs between 2007 and 201 finds, membership in “mainline Protestant” churches fell from 18.1 percent to 14.7 percent.

Those include the United Methodist Church, the American Baptist Churches, the Evangelical Lutheran Church, the Presbyterian Church, and the Episcopal Church.

During that time those churches made great effort to “modernize” their teachings and embrace social issues like “climate change” and income inequality.

Likewise, predictions that Pope Francis’ embrace of “social justice” would draw new members to the Catholic Church proved wrong. The share of Americans who call themselves Catholic plunged from 23.9 percent to 20.8 percent.

While evangelical churches have been derided as out of date and doomed to vanish, Pew finds they’re faring much better than their “mainstream” counterparts. The share of Americans attending an evangelical church fell only 0.9 percent, from 26.3 percent to 25.4 percent.

The reason? People are switching from “touchy-feely” Christianity to churches preaching a stronger faith.

“The evangelical Protestant tradition is the only major Christian group in the survey that has gained more members than it has lost through religious switching,” Pew reports.

“Roughly 10% of U.S. adults now identify with evangelical Protestantism after having been raised in another tradition, which more than offsets the roughly 8% of adults who were raised as evangelicals but have left for another religious tradition or who no longer identify with any organized faith.”

That figure includes the Southern Baptist Convention, the Assemblies of God, Churches of Christ, the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, and the Presbyterian Church.

Non-Christian faiths grew from 4.7 percent of all Americans to 5.9 percent. Judaism rose from 1.7 percent of Americans to 1.9 percent and the Hindu faith from 0.4 percent to 0.7 percent. Buddhism remained flat at 0.7 percent.

Islam grew from 0.4 percent to 0.9 percent of all Americans.

The share of Americans identifying with no particular religion grew from 16.1 percent to 22.8 percent. About a third of that growth was among people identifying as atheist or agnostic, while the remainder identified as “nothing in particular.”

Immigration is boosting Christian numbers, however.

“Roughly one-in-seven participants in the new survey (15%) were born outside the U.S., and two-thirds of those immigrants are Christians, including 39% who are Catholic,” Pew reports.