US Has High Rate of Weekly Religious Service Attendance

January 13, 2011

pew-religion-weekly-services-jan-2011.JPGThe US, when compared to other industrialized nations, scores very highly on its rate of weekly religious service attendance, according to new data from the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life. Close to 40% of US residents attend a religious service weekly, placing the US well ahead of other industrialized nations such as Italy, Canada and Britain, and even slightly ahead of Iran.

Jordan has the highest weekly religious service attendance rate of any country examined, roughly 90%. While Poland has a rate of close to 60%, the other nations ahead of the US are all developing economies such as Egypt, Indonesia, Brazil and India.

Young Adults Increase Having No Preference, Decrease Evangelism

pew-religion-youth-jan-2011.JPGIn 2010, close to 30% of US adults age 18-29 said they had no religion, while slightly less than 20% said they were evangelical Protestant. In contrast, in 1970, almost 20% said they were evangelical Protestant and 15% said they had no religion.

Evangelical Protestantism peaked in this age group in 1985 (about 25%) while no religion hit a low point in 1990 (about 10%). The percentage of young adults passed the percentage who are evangelical Protestants in the late 1990s.

Most Americans Say Faith Not Required to be Good American

pew-religion-good-american-jan-2011.JPGRegardless of their level of religiosity, most Americans say a person doesn’t have to have religious faith to be a good American. This percentage varies from a high of 98% among the least religious Americans to a still-dominant low of 80% among Americans whose level of religious faith places them in the top 61-70% and 71-80% of religious Americans. Interestingly, Americans in the top 81-90% and 91-100% of religious faith are slightly more likely to say faith is not required to be a good American.

Americans Feel Warmest toward Jews

pew-religion-warm-feelings-jan-2011.JPGMeasuring how Americans of other faiths feel about a particular faith, overall sentiment is warmest toward Jews, closely followed by Catholics and mainline Protestants. Evangelical Protestants and non-religious Americans score slightly below the average warmth level. The three groups that scored near the bottom are Mormons, Buddhists and Muslims.

Gallup: Americans See Religion Losing Influence

Seven in 10 Americans say religion is losing its influence on American life, according to results of a recent Gallup poll. This figure has risen 27% from 55% who gave the same view in 2002, and is tied with 2009 for the highest percentage who say religion is losing influence since 1970.

Another 25% said religion is increasing its influence on American life, with 2% saying religion’s influence is staying the same. In 2002, about the same percentage said religion was maintaining a steady influence, but around 50% said its influence was increasing.

About the Data: This report includes data from the Faith Matters survey conducted by David Campbell and Robert Putnam, as well as several Pew Research surveys.

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