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The current study asks “How do religious people become atheists?

” and aims to further the understanding of the process of religious deconversion by offering a proposed .

God, sacred objects, rituals, and moral codes) that might be present in a religion to a greater or lesser extent (), must describe the essential features of religion, that is, the necessary and sufficient conditions that make a system of beliefs a religion.

Considering this, substantive definitions do a better job than the alternatives, since by nature they describe religion’s fundamental characteristics.

The influence of organized religion is decreasing in the West, and trends show a growing number of people abandoning their religious beliefs, or deconverting.

However, this phenomenon has received relatively little attention in the psychology of religion.

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The resulting model of deconversion is comprised of three core categories: .This “new atheism”, as it has been called, is keen to engage in rebutting religious arguments, often pointing at the dangers of religion, and considers God and the supernatural as legitimate areas of scientific enquiry ().But what phenomenon is behind the rise of non-religion, at an individual and psychological level?Conversely, functional definitions describe what role religion might have for its followers, such as answering questions of life meaning ().Lastly, prototypical approaches offer instead a series of “religion-making” features (e.g.

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