U.S. Religious Landscape Study is based on telephone interviews with more than 35,000 Americans from all 50 states. This is the second time the Pew Research Center has conducted a Religious Landscape Study. The first was conducted in 2007, also with a telephone survey of more than 35,000 Americans. The results from the new Landscape Study will be published in a series of reports.
This interactive tool complements the first and second releases; the first report focuses on the changing religious composition of the U.S. and the demographic characteristics of U.S. religious groups, while the second report looks at religious beliefs and practices as well as social and political views for the U.S. adult population overall and for specific religious traditions.
Read more at … http://www.pewforum.org/about-the-religious-landscape-study/
“African-Americans stand out as the most religiously committed racial or ethnic group in the nation.”
While the U.S. is generally considered a highly religious nation, African-Americans are markedly more religious on a variety of measures than the U.S. population as a whole, including level of affiliation with a religion, attendance at religious services, frequency of prayer and religion’s importance in life. Compared with other racial and ethnic groups, African-Americans are among the most likely to report a formal religious affiliation, with fully 87% of African-Americans describing themselves as belonging to one religious group or another, according to the U.S. Religious Landscape Survey, conducted in 2007 by the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life. Latinos also report affiliating with a religion at a similarly high rate of 85%; among the public overall, 83% are affiliated with a religion.
The Landscape Survey also finds that nearly eight-in-ten African-Americans (79%) say religion is very important in their lives, compared with 56% among all U.S. adults. In fact, even a large majority (72%) of African-Americans who are unaffiliated with any particular faith say religion plays at least a somewhat important role in their lives; nearly half (45%) of unaffiliated African-Americans say religion is very important in their lives, roughly three times the percentage who says this among the religiously unaffiliated population overall (16%). Indeed, on this measure, unaffiliated African-Americans more closely resemble the overall population of Catholics (56% say religion is very important) and mainline Protestants (52%).
Additionally, several measures illustrate the distinctiveness of the black community when it comes to religious practices and beliefs. More than half of African-Americans (53%) report attending religious services at least once a week, more than three-in-four (76%) say they pray on at least a daily basis and nearly nine-in-ten (88%) indicate they are absolutely certain that God exists. On each of these measures, African-Americans stand out as the most religiously committed racial or ethnic group in the nation. Even those African-Americans who are unaffiliated with any religious group pray nearly as often as the overall population of mainline Protestants (48% of unaffiliated African-Americans pray daily vs. 53% of all mainline Protestants). And unaffiliated African-Americans are about as likely to believe in God with absolute certainty (70%) as are mainline Protestants (73%) and Catholics (72%) overall…
A couple of months ago, I put together a graphic showing the political positions of American churches and religions. My analysis was based on Pew’s 2007 Religious Landscape survey, which included more than 35,000 people.
My work received a lot of attention. One of the most fascinating pieces of the graph was the position of people who belonged mainline churches. Despite the liberal positions of clergy and church leaders, mainline Protestants are some of the most conservative on economic issues. Mainline Protestants favored a smaller government that provided fewer services. The mainline churches could be described as “libertarian” because they also favored a government that stayed out of policies protecting morality.
Evangelicals held about the same position on economics, but they were much more conservative on the role of government in protecting traditional morality. Black Protestants, too, were conservative on social issues. They were much more supportive a larger government on economics.
Dan Olson and Ben Pratt of Purdue University crunched a different set of numbers but came up with remarkably similar results. They presented some of their results at the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion meetings last week…