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"We should listen to prophets like Mohammed, Jesus, Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr., and all those who teach love and respect for one another, but we shouldn't pit one belief against another belief and bring atrocities down on all the innocents of the world." Talk back on the boards.

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9.26.03
Society and Community:
God and Government
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American Faith Statistics

It has become something of a journalistic commonplace to refer to the United States as one of the most religious nations in the world. What are the numbers surrounding religion in the United States?

Where do Americans Put Their Faith?

Americans still attend religious services much more often than do their European counterparts. But the number of Americans who label themselves non-religious is growing.


How do people feel about religion and their political leaders? In late July of 2003 the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life issued its third annual survey of American religious attitudes found that 62 percent think President Bush strikes the right balance in how much he mentions his religious faith, and nearly as many (58 percent) believe the Presidentís reliance on religion in policymaking is appropriate. However, the study also found that 38 percent would not vote for a well-qualified Muslim for president, and 17 percent would not vote for a well-qualified evangelical Christian. Fifty-two percent say they would not vote for a well-qualified atheist.

Who's going to church, the mosque, the synagogue, or increasingly, other places of worship?


Religion in the United States

% of Americans who view themselves as religious:  86.8
% of Americans who regularly attend a worship service:  57
% of French, U.K. and Israeli citizens who attend services:  15/10/25
% of Americans who view it as important for presidential candidates to be strongly religious:  70
% of Americans who are very uncomfortable when presidential candidates express how religious they are:  50
% Americans who identify themselves as Christian in 1947 and 2001  89/82
Growth in % of U.S. population identifying as non-religious 1990-2000:  +110
Growth in % of U.S. population identifying as Buddhist/Hindu/Muslim 1990-2000:  +170/+237/+109
Sources: The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life; U.S. Census 2002; The Gallup Organization, Greg Easterbrook, Religion in America;, Brookings Review, Jan. 1, 2002. Adherents.com is an excellent source for statistics on religion worldwide.

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