Religion in the United States

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search




Circle frame.svg

Religion in the United States

  Christianity (76%)
  Other Religions (4%)
  Non-Religious (15%)
  Don't know/Not Stated (5%)

Religion in the United States is characterized by a diversity of religious beliefs and practices. Various religious faiths have flourished, as well as perished, in the United States. A majority of Americans report that religion plays a "very important" role in their lives, a proportion unique among developed nations.1

The majority of Americans (73%) identify themselves as Christians and about 20% have no religious affiliation.2 According to the American Religious Identification Survey (ARIS) (2008) 76% of the American adult population identified themselves as Christians, with 51% professing attendance at a variety of churches that could be considered Protestant or unaffiliated, and 25% professing Catholic beliefs.34 The same survey says that other religions (including, for example, Judaism, Buddhism, Islam, and Hinduism) collectively make up about 4% of the adult population, another 15% of the adult population claim no religious affiliation, and 5.2% said they did not know, or they refused to reply.3 According to a 2012 survey by the Pew forum, 36 percent of Americans state that they attend services nearly every week or more.5

Overview

From early colonial days, when some English and German settlers came in search of religious freedom, America has been profoundly influenced by religion.6 That influence continues in American culture, social life, and politics.7 Several of the original Thirteen Colonies were established by settlers who wished to practice their own religion within a community of like-minded people: the Massachusetts Bay Colony was established by English Puritans (Congregationalists), Pennsylvania by British Quakers, Maryland by English Catholics, and Virginia by English Anglicans.

The text of the First Amendment to the country's Constitution states that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances." It guarantees the free exercise of religion while also preventing the government from establishing a state religion. The Supreme Court has also interpreted this as preventing the government from having any authority in religion.

According to a 2002 survey by the Pew forum, nearly 6 in 10 Americans said that religion plays an important role in their lives, compared to 33% in Great Britain, 27% in Italy, and 21% in Germany. The survey report stated that the results showed America having a greater similarity to developing nations (where higher percentages say that religion plays an important role) than to other wealthy nations, where religion plays a minor role.1

In 1963, 90% of Americans claimed to be Christians; 2% professed no religious identity. In 2012, the percentage of Christians was closer to 70%; 13% claimed no religious identity.8

Freedom of religion

Although some New England States continued to use tax money to fund local Congregational churches into the 1830s, the United States claims to have been the first nation to have no official state-endorsed religion.9

Modeling the provisions concerning religion within the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, the framers of the Constitution rejected any religious test for office, and the First Amendment specifically denied the federal government any power to enact any law respecting either an establishment of religion or prohibiting its free exercise, thus protecting any religious organization, institution, or denomination from government interference. The decision was mainly influenced by European Rationalist and Protestant ideals, but was also a consequence of the pragmatic concerns of minority religious groups and small states that did not want to be under the power or influence of a national religion that did not represent them.10

Abrahamic religions

Christianity

The largest religion in the US is Christianity, claimed by the majority of the population (73% in 201211). From those queried, roughly 48% of Americans are Protestants, 22% are Catholics, 2% are Mormons (the name commonly used to refer to members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints), and 1% have affiliations with various other Christian denominations.1213 Christianity was introduced during the period of European colonization.

According to the 2011 Yearbook of American and Canadian Churches, from which members in the United States are combined with Canadian members, and of the National Council of Churches, the five largest denominations are:14

The Southern Baptist Convention, with over 16 million adherents, is the largest of more than 20016 distinctly named Protestant denominations.17 As of 2007, members of Evangelical Churches comprise 26% of the American population, while another 18% belong to mainline Protestant churches, and 7% belong to historically black churches.citation needed

Due to its large population and history, the United States has numerically more Catholics and Protestants than any other country in the world. Other countries, however, have higher percentages of Catholics and Protestants within their total populations.

Beginning in the 17th century, Northern European peoples introduced Protestantism. Among Protestants, Anglicans, Baptists, Puritans, Presbyterians, Lutherans, Quakers, and Moravians were the first to settle in the US, spreading their faith in the new country.

The Salt Lake Temple in Salt Lake City, Utah

Beginning in the 16th century, the Spanish (and later the French and English) introduced Catholicism. From the 19th century to the present, Catholics came to the US in large numbers due to immigration of Italians, Hispanics, Portuguese, French, Polish, Irish, Highland Scots, Dutch, Flemish, Hungarians, Germans, Lebanese, and other ethnic groups.

Greek, Ukrainian, Russian, Central and Eastern European, Middle Eastern, Ethiopian, and South Indian immigrants brought Eastern Orthodoxy and Oriental Orthodoxy to the United States. These branches of Christianity have since spread beyond the boundaries of ethnic immigrant communities and now include multi-ethnic membership and parishes.

Several Christian groups were founded in American during the Great Awakenings. Interdenominational evangelicalism and Pentecostalism emerged; new Protestant denominations such as Adventism; non-denominational movements such as the Restoration Movement (which over time separated into the Churches of Christ the Christian churches and churches of Christ, and the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)); Jehovah's Witnesses (called 'Bible Students' in the later part of the 19th century); and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormonism).

The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C., is the largest Catholic church in the US

The strength of various sects varies greatly in different regions of the country, with rural parts of the South (except Louisiana and the Gulf Coast, and the Hispanic community, which both consist mainly of Catholics), having many evangelicals but very few Catholics, while urbanized areas of the north Atlantic states and Great Lakes, as well as many industrial and mining towns, are heavily Catholic, though still quite mixed, especially due to the heavily Protestant African-American communities. As of 1990, nearly 72% of the population of Utah was Mormon, as well as 26% of neighboring Idaho.18 Lutheranism is most prominent in the Upper Midwest, with North Dakota having the highest percentage of Lutherans (35% according to a 2001 survey.19)

Despite its status as the most widespread and influential religion in the US, Christianity has undergone a continuous relative decline in demographics. While the absolute number of Christians rose from 1990 to 2008 as the overall population increased, the actual percentage of Christians dropped from 86% to 76%.3 A nationwide telephone interview of 1,002 adults conducted by The Barna Group found that 70% of American adults believe that God is "the all-powerful, all-knowing creator of the universe who still rules it today", and that 9% of all American adults and 0.5% young adults hold to what the survey defined as a "biblical worldview".20

Judaism

After Christianity, Judaism is the next largest religious affiliation in the US, though this identification is not necessarily indicative of religious beliefs or practices.3 There are between 5.3 and 6.6 million Jews. A significant number of people identify themselves as American Jews on ethnic and cultural grounds, rather than religious ones. For example, 19% of self-identified American Jews believe God does not exist.21 The 2001 ARIS study projected from its sample that there are about 5.3 million adults in the American Jewish population: 2.83 million adults (1.4% of the U.S. adult population) are estimated to be adherents of Judaism; 1.08 million are estimated to be adherents of no religion; and 1.36 million are estimated to be adherents of a religion other than Judaism.22 ARIS 2008 estimated about 2.68 million adults (1.2%) in the country identify Judaism as their faith.3

Touro Synagogue, (built 1759) in Newport, Rhode Island has the oldest still existing synagogue building in the United States.

Jews have been present in what is now the US since the 17th century, though large scale immigration did not take place until the 19th century, largely as a result of persecutions in parts of Eastern Europe. The Jewish community in the United States is composed predominantly of Ashkenazi Jews whose ancestors emigrated from Central and Eastern Europe. There are, however, small numbers of older (and some recently arrived) communities of Sephardi Jews with roots tracing back to 15th century Iberia (Spain, Portugal, and North Africa). There are also Mizrahi Jews (from the Middle East, Caucasia and Central Asia), as well as much smaller numbers of Ethiopian Jews, Indian Jews, Kaifeng Jews and others from various smaller Jewish ethnic divisions. Approximately 25% of the Jewish American population lives in New York City.23

According to a 2007 survey conducted by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public life, 1.7% of adults in the U.S. identify Judaism as their religion. Among those surveyed, 43% said they were Reform Jews, 31% said they were Conservative Jews, and 10% said they were Orthodox Jews.2425 According to the 1990 National Jewish Population Survey, 38% of Jews were affiliated with the Reform tradition, 35% were Conservative, 6% were Orthodox, 1% were Reconstructionists, 10% linked themselves to some other tradition, and 10% said they are "just Jewish."26

A 2009 study estimated the Jewish population (including both those who define themselves as Jewish by religion and those who define themselves as Jewish in cultural or ethnic terms) to be between 6.0 and 6.4 million.27 According to a study done in 2000 there were an estimated 6.14 million Jewish people in the country, about 2% of the population.28

Congregation Shearith Israel, (founded 1655) in New York is the oldest Jewish congregation in the United States.

According to the 2001 National Jewish Population Survey, 4.3 million American Jewish adults have some sort of strong connection to the Jewish community, whether religious or cultural.29 Jewishness is generally considered an ethnic identity as well as a religious one. Among the 4.3 million American Jews described as "strongly connected" to Judaism, over 80% have some sort of active engagement with Judaism, ranging from attendance at daily prayer services on one end of the spectrum to attending Passover Seders or lighting Hanukkah candles on the other. The survey also discovered that Jews in the Northeast and Midwest are generally more observant than Jews in the South or West. Reflecting a trend also observed among other religious groups, Jews in the Northwestern United States are typically the least observant of tradition.

Beginning in the 1960s, a worldwide movement among previously secular Jews, called baalei teshuva ("returners", returning to a more religious, in most cases, Orthodox, style of observance) has had a noticeable presence in America.30 It is uncertain how widespread or demographically important this movement is at present.

Islam

The Islamic Center of Washington in the nation's capital is a leading American Islamic Center.

Islam is the 3rd largest faith in America, after Christianity and Judaism, representing 0.8% of the population.3132 Islam in America effectively began with the arrival of African slaves. It is estimated that about 10% of African slaves transported to the United States were Muslim.33 Most, however, became Christians, and the United States did not have a significant Muslim population until the arrival of immigrants from Arab and East Asian Muslim areas.34 According to some experts,35 Ahmadiyya were "arguably the most influential community in African-American Islam" until the 1950s. Islam later gained a higher profile through the Nation of Islam, a religious group that appealed to black Americans after the 1940s; its prominent converts included Malcolm X and Muhammad Ali.3637 The first Muslim elected in Congress was Keith Ellison in 2006,38 followed by Andre Carson in 2008.39

The Islamic Center of America in Dearborn, Michigan is the largest mosque in the United States

Research indicates that Muslims in the US are generally more assimilated and prosperous than Muslims in Europe.404142 Like other subcultural and religious communities, the Islamic community has generated its own political organizations and charity organizations.

Bahá'í Faith

Bahá'í House of Worship, (built 1953) in Wilmette, Illinois is the oldest still existing Bahá'í House of Worship in the world and the only one in the United States.

The United States has perhaps the second largest Bahá'í community in the world. First mention of the Faith in the U.S. was at the inaugural Parliament of World Religions, which was held at the Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893. In 1894, Ibrahim Kheiralla, a Syrian Bahá'í immigrant established a community in the U.S. He later left the main group and founded a rival movement.43

Dharmic religions

Buddhism

Hsi Lai Temple (lit. Coming West Temple), a Buddhist monastery in Los Angeles, California

Buddhism entered the US during the 19th century with the arrival of the first immigrants from East Asia. The first Buddhist temple was established in San Francisco in 1853 by Chinese Americans.

During the late 19th century Buddhist missionaries from Japan came to the US. During the same time period, US intellectuals started to take interest in Buddhism.

The first prominent US citizen to publicly convert to Buddhism was Henry Steel Olcott. An event that contributed to the strengthening of Buddhism in the US was the Parliament of the World's Religions in 1893, which was attended by many Buddhist delegates sent from India, China, Japan,Vietnam, Thailand and Sri Lanka.

The early 20th century was characterized by a continuation of tendencies that had their roots in the 19th century. The second half, by contrast, saw the emergence of new approaches, and the move of Buddhism into the mainstream and making itself a mass and social religious phenomenon.4445

Many foreign associations and teachers—such as Soka Gakkai and Tenzin Gyatso (the 14th Dalai Lama for Tibetan Buddhismcitation needed)—started to organize missionary activities, while US converts established the first Western-based Buddhist institutions, temples and worship groups.

Estimates of the number of Buddhists in the United States vary between 0.5%3 and 0.9%,46 with 0.7% reported by both the CIA24 and PEW.47

Hinduism

The first time Hinduism entered the US is not clearly identifiable. However, large groups of Hindus have immigrated from India and other Asian countries since the enactment of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965. During the 1960s and 1970s Hinduism exercised fascination contributing to the development of New Age thought. During the same decades the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (a Vaishnavite Hindu reform organization) was founded in the US.

According to recent surveys, estimates for Hindus in the US suggest they number nearly 400 thousand people or about 0.2% of the total population.4849

In 2004 the Hindu American Foundation—a national institution protecting rights the Hindu community of US—was founded.

Jainism

Adherents of Jainism first arrived in the United States in the 20th century. The most significant time of Jain immigration was in the early 1970s. The United States has since become a center of the Jain Diaspora. The Federation of Jain Associations in North America is an umbrella organization of local American and Canadian Jain congregations to preserve, practice, and promote Jainism and the Jain Way of Life.50

Sikhism

Sikh Center of San Francisco Bay Area, a Sikh gurdwara in El Sobrante, California.

Around 1900, the state of Punjab of British India was hit hard by British practices of mercantilism. Some Sikhs emigrated to the United States to work on farms in California. They were the first community to come from India to the US in large numbers.51

The first Sikh Gurdwara in America was built in Stockton, California in 1912.52

No religion

This group includes atheists, agnostics and people who describe their religion as "nothing in particular".53

"Unaffiliated" does not necessarily mean "non-religious". Some people who are unaffiliated with any particular religion express religious beliefs (such as belief in God or reincarnation) and engage in religious practices (such as prayer or meditation).

Agnosticism, atheism, and humanism

A 2001 survey directed by Dr. Ariela Keysar for the City University of New York indicated that, amongst the more than 100 categories of response, "no religious identification" had the greatest increase in population in both absolute and percentage terms. This category included atheists, agnostics, humanists, and others with no theistic religious beliefs or practices. Figures are up from 14.3 million in 1990 to 34.2 million in 2008, representing an increase from 8% of the total population in 1990 to 15% in 2008.3 A nation-wide Pew Research study published in 2008 put the figure of unaffiliated persons at 16.1%,49 while another Pew study published in 2012 was described as placing the proportion at about 20% overall and roughly 33% for the 18–29-year-old demographic.54

In a 2006 nationwide poll, University of Minnesota researchers found that despite an increasing acceptance of religious diversity, atheists were generally distrusted by other Americans, who trusted them less than Muslims, recent immigrants and other minority groups in "sharing their vision of American society". They also associated atheists with undesirable attributes such as criminal behavior, rampant materialism, and cultural elitism.5556 However, the same study also reported that "The researchers also found acceptance or rejection of atheists is related not only to personal religiosity, but also to one's exposure to diversity, education and political orientation – with more educated, East and West Coast Americans more accepting of atheists than their Midwestern counterparts."57 Some surveys have indicated that doubts about the existence of a god were growing quickly among Americans under 30.58

On 24 March 2012, American Atheists sponsored the Reason Rally in Washington D.C. This was followed by the American Atheist Convention at the Bethesda North Marriott and Convention Center in Bethesda, MD. Organizers called the estimated crowd of 8,000–10,000 the largest-ever gathering of nonbelievers in one place.59

Deism

In the United States, Enlightenment philosophy (which itself was heavily inspired by deist ideals) played a major role in creating the principle of religious freedom, expressed in Thomas Jefferson's letters and included in the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. American Founding Fathers, or Framers of the Constitution, who were especially noted for being influenced by such philosophy of deism include Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, Cornelius Harnett, Gouverneur Morris, and Hugh Williamson. Their political speeches show distinct deistic influence. Other notable Founding Fathers may have been more directly deist. These include Thomas Paine, James Madison, possibly Alexander Hamilton, and Ethan Allen,60

Belief in the existence of a god

Various polls have been conducted to determine Americans' actual beliefs regarding a god:

  • A 2006 CBS News Poll of 899 U.S. adults found that 76% of those surveyed believed in a god, while 9% believed in "some other universal spirit or higher power", 8% believed in neither, and 1% were unsure.citation needed
  • A 2007 Gallup Poll found that 86% of Americans believe in a god, with 8% saying they are not sure, and 6% saying they don't believe in a god.citation needed
  • According to a 2008 ARIS survey, belief in god varies considerably by region. The lowest rate is in the West with 59% reporting a belief in God, and the highest rate in the South at 86%.61
  • Mark Chaves, a Duke University professor of sociology, religion and divinity, found that 92% of Americans believed in God in 2008, but that significantly fewer Americans have great confidence in their religious leaders than a generation ago.62
  • A 2008 survey of 1,000 people concluded that, based on their stated beliefs rather than their religious identification, 69.5% of Americans believe in a personal God, roughly 12.3% of Americans are atheist or agnostic, and another 12.1% are deistic (believing in a higher power/non-personal God, but no personal God).3
  • A late 2009 online Harris poll of 2,303 U.S. adults (18 and older)63 found that "82% of adult Americans believe in God", the same number as in two earlier polls in 2005 and 2007. Another 9% said they did not believe in God, and 9% said that they were not sure. It further concluded, "Large majorities also believe in miracles (76%), heaven (75%), that Jesus is God or the Son of God (73%), in angels (72%), the survival of the soul after death (71%), and in the resurrection of Jesus (70%). Less than half (45%) of adults believe in Darwin's theory of evolution but this is more than the 40% who believe in creationism..... Many people consider themselves Christians without necessarily believing in some of the key beliefs of Christianity. However, this is not true of born-again Christians. In addition to their religious beliefs, large minorities of adults, including many Christians, have "pagan" or pre-Christian beliefs such as a belief in ghosts, astrology, witches and reincarnation.... Because the sample is based on those who agreed to participate in the Harris Interactive panel, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated."
  • A 2010 Gallup poll found 80% of Americans believe in a god, 12% believe in a universal spirit, 6% don't believe in either, 1% chose "other", and 1% had no opinion. This is down only slightly from the 1940s, when Gallup first asked this question.
  • A 2011 Gallup poll found 92% of Americans said yes to the basic question "Do you believe in God?", while 7% said no and 1% had no opinion.64
  • A 2012 Pew Research Center survey found that doubts about the existence of a god have grown rapidly among younger Americans, with 68% telling Pew they never doubt God's existence, a 15-point drop in just five years. In 2007, 83% of American millennials said they never doubted God's existence.5865
  • A 2012 WIN-Gallup International poll showed that 5% of Americans considered themselves "convinced" atheists, which was a fivefold increase from the last time the survey was taken in 2005, and 5% said they did not know or else did not respond.66

Others

Many other religions are represented in the United States, including Shinto, Caodaism, Thelema, Santería, Kemetism, Religio Romana, Kaldanism, Zoroastrianism, Vodou, and many forms of New Age spirituality.

Native American religions

Native American religions historically exhibited much diversity, and are often characterized by animism or panentheism.67 The membership of Native American religions in the 21st century comprises about 9000 people.68

Neopaganism

Neopaganism in the United States is represented by widely different movements and organizations. The largest Neopagan religion is Wicca, followed by Neo-Druidism.6970 Other neopagan movements include Germanic Neopaganism, Celtic Reconstructionist Paganism, Hellenic Polytheistic Reconstructionism, and Semitic Neopaganism.

Druidry

According to the American Religious Identification Survey (ARIS), there are approximately 30,000 druids in the United States.71 Modern Druidism came to North America first in the form of fraternal Druidic organizations in the nineteenth century and orders such as the Ancient Order of Druids in America were founded as distinct American groups as early as 1912. In 1963, the Reformed Druids of North America (RDNA) was founded by students at Carleton College, Northfield, Minnesota. They adopted elements of Neopaganism into their practices, for instance celebrating the festivals of the Wheel of the Year.72

Wicca

Wicca advanced in North America in the 1960s by Raymond Buckland, an expatriate Briton who visited Gardner's Isle of Man coven to gain initiation.73 Universal Eclectic Wicca was popularized in 1969 a diverse membership drawing from both Dianic and British Traditional Wiccan backgrounds.74

New Thought Movement

A group of churches which started in the 1830s in the United States is known under the banner of "New Thought". These churches share a spiritual, metaphysical and mystical predisposition and understanding of the Bible and were strongly influenced by the Transcendentalist movement particularly the work of Emerson. Another antecedent of this movement was Swedenborgianism, founded on the writings of Emanuel Swedenborg in 1787.75 The New Thought concept was named by Emma Curtis Hopkins ("teacher of teachers") after Hopkins broke off from Mary Baker Eddy's Church of Christ, Scientist. The movement had been previously known as the Mental Sciences or The Christian Sciences. The three major branches are Religious Science, Unity Church and Divine Science.

Unitarian Universalism

Unitarian Universalists do not share a creed; rather, they are unified by their shared search for spiritual growth and by the understanding that an individual's theology is a result of that search and not obedience to an authoritarian requirement.76

Taoism

In 2004 there were an estimated 56,000 Taoists in the US.77 Taoism was popularized throughout the world through the practice of Tai Chi Chuan and other martial arts.78

Major denominations founded in the United States

Government positions

The First Amendment guarantees both the free practice of religion and the non-establishment of religion by the federal government (later court decisions have extended that prohibition to the states).79 The U.S. Pledge of Allegiance was modified in 1954 to add the phrase "under God", in order to distinguish itself from the state atheism espoused by the Soviet Union.80818283

Various American presidents have often stated the importance of religion. On February 20, 1955, President Dwight D. Eisenhower stated that "Recognition of the Supreme Being is the first, the most basic, expression of Americanism."84 President Gerald Ford agreed with and repeated this statement in 1974.85

Statistics

The U.S. Census does not ask about religion. Various groups have conducted surveys to determine approximate percentages of those affiliated with each religious group. Some surveys ask people to self-identify, while others calculate church memberships. The first table below represents the ranges that have been found.

Religious affiliation in the U.S. (2012)86
Affiliation % of U.S. population
Christian 73 73
 
Protestant 48 48
 
Evangelical Protestant 19 19
 
Mainline Protestant 15 15
 
Black church 8 8
 
Catholic 22 22
 
Mormon 2 2
 
Eastern Orthodox 1 1
 
Other Faith 6 6
 
Unaffiliated 19.6 19.6
 
Nothing in particular 13.9 13.9
 
Agnostic 3.3 3.3
 
Atheist 2.4 2.4
 
Don't know/refused answer 2 2
 
Total 100 100
 

Attendance

Church or synagogue attendance by state. Data is unavailable for Alaska and Hawaii.

Gallup International indicates that 41.6%88 of American citizens report they regularly attend religious services, compared to 15% of French citizens, 10% of UK citizens,89 and 7.5% of Australian citizens.90

In 2006, an online Harris Poll (they stated that the magnitude of errors cannot be estimated due to sampling errors, non-response,etc.; 2,010 U.S. adults were surveyed)91 found that 26% of those surveyed attended religious services "every week or more often", 9% went "once or twice a month", 21% went "a few times a year", 3% went "once a year", 22% went "less than once a year", and 18% never attend religious services.

Church attendance varies considerably by state and region. In a 2009 Gallup survey, 41.6% of Americans said that they attended church or synagogue once a week or almost every week. The figures ranged from 63% in Mississippi to 23% in Vermont.

Weekly Church Attendance by State88
Rank State Percent
National average 41.6%
1  Mississippi 63%
2  Alabama 58%
3  Louisiana 56%
3  South Carolina 56%
3  Utah 56%
6  Tennessee 54%
7  Arkansas 53%
7  North Carolina 53%
9  Georgia 51%
10  Texas 50%
11  North Dakota 49%
11  Oklahoma 49%
13  Kentucky 48%
14  South Dakota 47%
15  Kansas 46%
16  Iowa 45%
16  Nebraska 45%
18  Indiana 44%
18  Minnesota 44%
18  Missouri 44%
18  Virginia 44%
22  New Mexico 43%
23  Illinois 42%
23  Pennsylvania 42%
23  West Virginia 42%
26  Idaho 41%
26  Ohio 41%
28  Florida 40%
28  Maryland 40%
28  Michigan 40%
28  Wisconsin 40%
32  Arizona 39%
33  Delaware 38%
33  New Jersey 38%
35  District of Columbia 36%
35  Montana 36%
37  California 35%
37  Colorado 35%
37  New York 35%
40  Wyoming 34%
41  Connecticut 32%
41  Rhode Island 32%
41  Washington 32%
44  Alaska 31%
44  Hawaii 31%
44  Oregon 31%
47  Nevada 30%
48  Massachusetts 29%
49  Maine 27%
50  New Hampshire 26%
51  Vermont 23%

Religion and politics

The U.S. guarantees freedom of religion and some churches in the U.S. take strong stances on political subjects.

In August 2010 67% of Americans said religion is losing influence, compared with 59% who said this in 2006. Majorities of white evangelical Protestants (79%), while mainline Protestants (67%), Black Protestants (56%), Catholics (71%), and the religiously unaffiliated (62%) all agree that religion is losing influence on American life; 53% of the total public says this is a bad thing while just 10% see it as a good thing.92

Politicians frequently discuss their religion when campaigning, and Fundamentalist and Black Protestants are highly politically active. However, to keep their status as tax-exempt organizations they must not officially endorse a candidate. Historically Catholics were heavily Democrats before the 1970s, while mainline Protestants comprised the core of the Republican Party. Those patterns have faded away—Catholics, for example, now split about 50–50. However, white evangelicals since 1980 have made up a solidly Republican group that favors conservative candidates. Secular voters are increasingly Democratic.93

Only three presidential candidates for major parties have been Catholics, all for the Democratic party:

  • Alfred E. Smith in presidential election of 1928 was subjected to anti-Catholic rhetoric, which seriously hurt him in the Baptist areas of the South and Lutheran areas of the Midwest, but he did well in the Catholic urban strongholds of the Northeast.
  • John F. Kennedy secured the Democratic presidential nomination in 1960. In the 1960 election, Kennedy faced accusations that as a Catholic President he would do as the Pope would tell him to do, a charge that Kennedy refuted in a famous address to Protestant ministers.
  • John Kerry won the Democratic presidential nomination in 2004. In the 2004 election religion was hardly an issue, and most Catholics voted for his Protestant opponent.94

Joe Biden is the first Catholic vice president.95

The only Jewish major party candidate was Joe Lieberman in the Gore-Lieberman campaign of 2000 (although John Kerry and Barry Goldwater both had Jewish ancestry).

In 2006 Keith Ellison of Minnesota became the first Muslim elected to Congress; when re-enacting his swearing-in for photos, he used the copy of the Qur'an once owned by Thomas Jefferson.96

A Gallup Poll released in 200797 indicated that 53% of Americans would refuse to vote for an atheist as president, up from 48% in 1987 and 1999.

The 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney is Mormon and a member of the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He is the former governor of the state of Massachusetts and his father George Romney was the governor of the state of Michigan. The Romneys were involved in Mormonism in their states and in the state of Utah.

Membership reported by congregations

Christian bodies

The table below is based mainly on data reported by individual denominations to the Yearbook of American and Canadian Churches, and published in 2011 by the National Council of Churches of Christ in USA. It only includes religious bodies reporting 60,000 or more members. The definition of a member is determined by each religious body.98

Religious body Year reported Places of worship reported Membership (thousands) Number of ministers
African Methodist Episcopal Church 1999 0-sm=n 2,500 7,741
African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church 2002 3,226 1,431 3,252
American Baptist Association 1998 1,760 275 1,740
American Baptist Churches USA 1998 3,800 1,507 4,145
Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America 1998 220 65 263
Armenian Apostolic Church 1998 28 200 25
Assemblies of God USA 2009 12,371 2,914 34,504
Baptist Bible Fellowship International 1997 4,500 1,200
Baptist General Conference 1998 876 141
Baptist Missionary Association of America 1999 1,334 235 1,525
Christian and Missionary Alliance, The 1998 1,964 346 1,629
Plymouth Brethren Christian Church 1997 1,150 100
Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) 1997 3,818 879 3,419
Christian churches and churches of Christ 1998 5,579 1,072 5,525
Christian Congregation, Inc., The 1998 1,438 117 1,436
Christian Methodist Episcopal Church 1983 2,340 719
Christian Reformed Church in North America 1998 733 199 655
Church of God in Christ 1991 15,300 5,500 28,988
Church of God of Prophecy 1997 1,908 77 2,000
Church of God (Anderson, Indiana) 1998 2,353 234 3034
Church of God (Cleveland, Tennessee) 1995 6,060 753 3,121
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) 2006 13,010 5,779 39,030
Church of the Brethren 1997 1,095 141 827
Church of the Nazarene 1998 5,101 627 4,598
Churches of Christ 1999 15,000 1,500 14,500
Conservative Baptist Association of America 1998 1,200 200
Community of Christ 1998 1,236 140 19,319
Coptic Orthodox Church 2003 200 1,000 200
Cumberland Presbyterian Church 1998 774 87 634
Episcopal Church 1996 7,390 2,365 8,131
Evangelical Covenant Church, The 1998 628 97 607
Evangelical Free Church of America, The 1995 1,224 243 1,936
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America 1998 10,862 5,178 9,646
Evangelical Presbyterian Church 1998 187 61 262
Free Methodist Church of North America 1998 990 73
Full Gospel Fellowship 1999 896 275 2,070
General Association of General Baptists 1997 790 72 1,085
General Association of Regular Baptist Churches 1998 1,415 102
U.S. Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches 1996 368 82 590
Grace Gospel Fellowship 1992 128 60 160
Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America 1998 523 1,955 596
Independent Fundamental Churches of America 1999 659 62
International Church of the Foursquare Gospel 1998 1,851 238 4,900
International Council of Community Churches 1998 150 250 182
International Pentecostal Holiness Church 1998 1,716 177 1,507
Jehovah's Witnesses 2011 13,309 1,200
Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod, The 1998 6,218 2,594 5,227
Mennonite Church USA 2005 943 114
National Association of Congregational Christian Churches 1998 416 67 534
National Association of Free Will Baptists 1998 2,297 210 2,800
National Baptist Convention of America, Inc. 1987 2,500 3,500 8,000
National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc. 1992 33,000 8,200 32,832
National Missionary Baptist Convention of America 1992 2,500
Old Order Amish Church 1993 898 81 3,592
Orthodox Church in America 1998 625 28 700
Pentecostal Assemblies of the World, Inc. 1998 1,750 1,500 4,500
Pentecostal Church of God 1998 1,237 104
Presbyterian Church in America 1997 1,340 280 1,642
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) 1998 11,260 3,575 9,390
Progressive National Baptist Convention, Inc. 1995 2,000 2,500
Reformed Church in America 1998 902 296 915
Conservative Friends (Quakers) 1994 1,200 104
Catholic Church 2002 19,484 66,404
Romanian Orthodox Episcopate 1996 37 65 37
Salvation Army, The 1998 1,388 471 2,920
Serbian Orthodox Church 1986 68 67 60
Seventh-day Adventist Church 1998 4,405 840 2,454
Southern Baptist Convention 1998 40,870 16,500 71,520
United Church of Christ 1998 6,017 1,421 4,317
United Methodist Church, The 1998 36,170 8,400
Wesleyan Church, The 1998 1,590 120 1,806
Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod 1997 1,240 411 1,222

ARDA survey

The Association of Religion Data Archives (ARDA) surveyed congregations for their memberships. Churches were asked for their membership numbers. Adjustments were made for those congregations that did not respond and for religious groups that reported only adult membership.99 ARDA estimates that most of the churches not responding were black Protestant congregations. Significant difference in results from other databases include the lower representation of adherents of 1> all kinds (62.7%), 2>Christians (59.9%) 3>Protestants (less than 36%); and the greater number of unaffiliated (37.3%).

Plurality of religious preference by state, 2001. Data is unavailable for Alaska and Hawaii.
Percentage of religion against average, 2001.
Percentage of state populations that identify with a religion rather than "no religion", 2001.
Religious groups
Religious group number
in year
2010
 % in
year
2010
Total US pop year 2010 308,745,538 100.0%
Evangelical Protestant 50,013,107 16.2%
Mainline Protestant 22,568,258 7.3%
Black Protestant 4,877,067 1.6%
Protestant total 77,458,432 25.1%
Catholic 58,934,906 19.1%
Orthodox 1,056,535 0.3%
adherents (unadjusted) 150,596,792 48.8%
unclaimed 158,148,746 51.2%
other – including Mormon & Christ Scientist 13,146,919 4.3%
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormon, LDS) 6,144,582 2.0%
other – excluding Mormon 7,002,337 2.3%
Jewish estimate 6,141,325 2.0%
Buddhist estimate 2,000,000 0.7%
Muslim estimate 2,600,082 0.8%
Hindu estimate 400,000 0.4%
Source: ARDA28100

ARIS findings regarding self-identification

The United States government does not collect religious data in its census. The survey below, the American Religious Identification Survey (ARIS) 2008, was a random digit-dialed telephone survey of 54,461 American residential households in the contiguous United States. The 1990 sample size was 113,723; 2001 sample size was 50,281.

Adult respondents were asked the open-ended question, "What is your religion, if any?" Interviewers did not prompt or offer a suggested list of potential answers. The religion of the spouse or partner was also asked. If the initial answer was "Protestant" or "Christian" further questions were asked to probe which particular denomination. About one third of the sample was asked more detailed demographic questions.

Religious Self-Identification of the U.S. Adult Population: 1990, 2001, 20083
Figures are not adjusted for refusals to reply; investigators suspect refusals are possibly more representative of "no religion" than any other group.

Source: ARIS 20083
Group
1990
adults
x 1,000
2001
adults
x 1,000
2008
adults
x 1,000

Numerical
Change
1990–
2008
as %
of 1990
1990
% of
adults
2001
% of
adults
2008
% of
adults
change
in % of
total
adults
1990–
2008
Adult population, total 175,440 207,983 228,182 30.1%
Adult population, responded 171,409 196,683 216,367 26.2% 97.7% 94.6% 94.8% −2.9%
Total Christian 151,225 159,514 173,402 14.7% 86.2% 76.7% 76.0% −10.2%
Catholic 46,004 50,873 57,199 24.3% 26.2% 24.5% 25.1% −1.2%
non-Catholic Christian 105,221 108,641 116,203 10.4% 60.0% 52.2% 50.9% −9.0%
Baptist 33,964 33,820 36,148 6.4% 19.4% 16.3% 15.8% −3.5%
Mainline Christian 32,784 35,788 29,375 −10.4% 18.7% 17.2% 12.9% −5.8%
Methodist 14,174 14,039 11,366 −19.8% 8.1% 6.8% 5.0% −3.1%
Lutheran 9,110 9,580 8,674 −4.8% 5.2% 4.6% 3.8% −1.4%
Presbyterian 4,985 5,596 4,723 −5.3% 2.8% 2.7% 2.1% −0.8%
Episcopal/Anglican 3,043 3,451 2,405 −21.0% 1.7% 1.7% 1.1% −0.7%
United Church of Christ 438 1,378 736 68.0% 0.2% 0.7% 0.3% 0.1%
Christian Generic 25,980 22,546 32,441 24.9% 14.8% 10.8% 14.2% −0.6%
Christian Unspecified 8,073 14,190 16,384 102.9% 4.6% 6.8% 7.2% 2.6%
Non-denominational Christian 194 2,489 8,032 4040.2% 0.1% 1.2% 3.5% 3.4%
Protestant – Unspecified 17,214 4,647 5,187 −69.9% 9.8% 2.2% 2.3% −7.5%
Evangelical/Born Again 546 1,088 2,154 294.5% 0.3% 0.5% 0.9% 0.6%
Pentecostal/Charismatic 5,647 7,831 7,948 40.7% 3.2% 3.8% 3.5% 0.3%
Pentecostal – Unspecified 3,116 4,407 5,416 73.8% 1.8% 2.1% 2.4% 0.6%
Assemblies of God 617 1,105 810 31.3% 0.4% 0.5% 0.4% 0.0%
Church of God 590 943 663 12.4% 0.3% 0.5% 0.3% 0.0%
Other Protestant Denominations 4,630 5,949 7,131 54.0% 2.6% 2.9% 3.1% 0.5%
Churches of Christ 1,769 2,593 1,921 8.6% 1.0% 1.2% 0.8% −0.2%
Jehovah's Witness 1,381 1,331 1,914 38.6% 0.8% 0.6% 0.8% 0.1%
Seventh-Day Adventist 668 724 938 40.4% 0.4% 0.3% 0.4% 0.0%
Mormon/Latter Day Saints 2,487 2,697 3,158 27.0% 1.4% 1.3% 1.4% 0.0%
Total non-Christian religions 5,853 7,740 8,796 50.3% 3.3% 3.7% 3.9% 0.5%
Jewish 3,137 2,837 2,680 −14.6% 1.8% 1.4% 1.2% −0.6%
Eastern Religions 687 2,020 1,961 185.4% 0.4% 1.0% 0.9% 0.5%
Buddhist 404 1,082 1,189 194.3% 0.2% 0.5% 0.5% 0.3%
Muslim 527 1,104 1,349 156.0% 0.3% 0.5% 0.6% 0.3%
New Religious Movements & Others 1,296 1,770 2,804 116.4% 0.7% 0.9% 1.2% 0.5%
None/No religion, total 14,331 29,481 34,169 138.4% 8.2% 14.2% 15.0% 6.8%
Agnostic+Atheist 1,186 1,893 3,606 204.0% 0.7% 0.9% 1.6% 0.9%
Did Not Know/Refused to reply 4,031 11,300 11,815 193.1% 2.3% 5.4% 5.2% 2.9%

Highlights:3

  1. The ARIS 2008 survey was carried out during February–November 2008 and collected answers from 54,461 respondents who were questioned in English or Spanish.
  2. The American population self-identifies as predominantly Christian but Americans are slowly becoming less Christian.
    • 86% of American adults identified as Christians in 1990 and 76% in 2008.
    • The historic Mainline churches and denominations have experienced the steepest declines while the non-denominational Christian identity has been trending upward particularly since 2001.
    • The challenge to Christianity in the U.S. does not come from other religions but rather from a rejection of all forms of organized religion.
  3. 34% of American adults considered themselves "Born Again or Evangelical Christians" in 2008.
  4. The U. S. population continues to show signs of becoming less religious, with one out of every seven Americans failing to indicate a religious identity in 2008.
    • The "Nones" (no stated religious preference, atheist, or agnostic) continue to grow, though at a much slower pace than in the 1990s, from 8.2% in 1990, to 14.1% in 2001, to 15.0% in 2008.
    • Asian Americans are substantially more likely to indicate no religious identity than other racial or ethnic groups.
  5. One sign of the lack of attachment of Americans to religion is that 27% do not expect a religious funeral at their death.
  6. Based on their stated beliefs rather than their religious identification in 2008, 70% of Americans believe in a personal God, roughly 12% of Americans are atheist (no God) or agnostic (unknowable or unsure), and another 12% are deistic (a higher power but no personal God).
  7. America's religious geography has been transformed since 1990. Religious switching along with Hispanic immigration has significantly changed the religious profile of some states and regions. Between 1990 and 2008, the Catholic population proportion of the New England states fell from 50% to 36% and in New York it fell from 44% to 37%, while it rose in California from 29% to 37% and in Texas from 23% to 32%.
  8. Overall the 1990–2008 ARIS time series shows that changes in religious self-identification in the first decade of the 21st century have been moderate in comparison to the 1990s, which was a period of significant shifts in the religious composition of the United States.

Ethnicity

The table below shows the religious affiliations among the ethnicities in the United States, according to the Pew Forum 2007 survey.101 People of Black ethnicity were most likely to be part of a formal religion, with 85% percent being Christians. Protestant denominations make up the majority of the Christians in the ethnicities.

Religion White Black Asian Other/mixed Latino
Christian 78% 85% 45% 69% 84%
Protestant 53% 78% 27% 51% 23%
Catholic 22% 5% 17% 14% 58%
Mormon 2% <0.5% 1% 2% 1%
Jehovah's Witness <0.5% 1% <0.5% 1% 1%
Orthodox 1% <0.5% <0.5% 1% <0.5%
Other <0.5% <0.5% <0.5% 1% <0.5%
Other religions 5% 2% 30% 9% 2%
Jewish 2% <0.5% <0.5% 1% <0.5%
Muslim <0.5% 1% 4% 1% <0.5%
Buddhist 1% <0.5% 9% 1% <0.5%
Hindu <0.5% <0.5% 14% 1% <0.5%
Other world religions <0.5% <0.5% 2% <0.5% <0.5%
Other faiths 1% <0.5% 1% 5% <0.5%
Unaffiliated (including atheist and agnostic) 16% 12% 23% 20% 14%

See also

References

  1. ^ a b "Among Wealthy Nations U.S. Stands Alone in its Embrace of Religion". Pew Global Attitudes Project. Retrieved 2007-01-01. 
  2. ^ ""Nones" on the Rise". The Pew Forum. 2012-10-09. Retrieved 2012-12-29. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o Barry A. Kosmin and Ariela Keysar (2009). "American Religious Identification Survey (ARIS) 2008" (PDF). Hartford, Connecticut, USA: Trinity College. Retrieved 2009-04-01. 
  4. ^ US Census Bureau (Internet Release Date: 09/30/2011). "Table 75. Self-Described Religious Identification of Adult Population: 1990, 2001 and 2008, The methodology of the American Religious Identification Survey (ARIS)". US Census Bureau 2012 Statistical Abstract. Retrieved Feb 11, 2012. 
  5. ^ "The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life – Asian Americans: A Mosaic of Faiths". Pewforum.org. 2012-07-19. Retrieved 2012-12-29. 
  6. ^ Sydney Ahlstrom, A Religious History of the American People (Yale UP, 2nd ed. 2004) ISBN 0-300-10012-4
  7. ^ Kevin M. Schultz, and Paul Harvey, "Everywhere and Nowhere: Recent Trends in American Religious History and Historiography", Journal of the American Academy of Religion, March 2010, Vol. 78 Issue 1, pp. 129–162
  8. ^ Gilleland, Don (January 3, 2013). "50 years of change". Florida Today (Melbourne, Florida). pp. 9A. 
  9. ^ Feldman, Noah (2005). Divided by God. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, pg. 10 ("For the first time in recorded history, they designed a government with no established religion at all.")
  10. ^ Marsden, George M. 1990. Religion and American Culture. Orlando: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, pp. 45–46.
  11. ^ http://www.pewforum.org/2012/10/09/nones-on-the-rise
  12. ^ http://www.pewforum.org/2012/10/09/nones-on-the-rise/
  13. ^ Paulson, Michael (2008-02-26). "US religious identity is rapidly changing". The Boston Globe.  Boston Globe
  14. ^ "News from the National Council of Churches". Ncccusa.org. 2010-02-12. Retrieved 2012-03-17. 
  15. ^ http://www.census.gov/popest/data/state/totals/2012/index.html
  16. ^ Gaustad 1962.
  17. ^ "Annual of the 2007 Southern Baptist Convention" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-12-29. 
  18. ^ "Largest Latter-day Saint Communities (Mormon/Church of Jesus Christ Statistics)". adherents.com. 2005-04-12. 
  19. ^ "American Religious Identification Survey". Exhibit 15. The Graduate Center, City University of New York. Retrieved 2006-11-24. 
  20. ^ "Barna Survey Examines Changes in Worldview Among Christians over the Past 13 Years". The Barna Group. 2009-03-06. Retrieved 2009-06-26. 
  21. ^ Taylor, Humphrey (October 15, 2003), While Most Americans Believe in God, Only 36% Attend a Religious Service Once a Month or More Often, "The Harris Poll #59", HarrisInteractive.com (Harris Interactive), retrieved 2014-02-18 
  22. ^ Kosmin, Mayer & Keysar (2001-12-19). "American Identification Survey, 2001" (PDF). The Graduate Center of the City University of New York New York. pp. 8–9. Retrieved 2012-11-24. 
  23. ^ "Jewish Community Study of New York" (PDF). United Jewish Appeal-Federation of New York. 2002. Retrieved 2008-03-22. 
  24. ^ a b c "CIA Fact Book". CIA World Fact Book. 2002. Retrieved 2007-12-30. 
  25. ^ "Religious Composition of the U.S.". U.S Religious Landscape Survey. Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life. February 2008. p. 21. Retrieved 2012-11-26. 
  26. ^ Jack Wertheimer (2002). Jews in the Center: Conservative Synagogues and Their Members. Rutgers University Press. p. 68. 
  27. ^ Ira M. Sheskin and Arnold Dashefsky, University of Miami and University of Connecticut (2009). "Jewish Population of the United States, 2009". Mandell L. Berman North American Jewish Data Bank in cooperation with the Association for the Social Scientific Study of Jewry and the Jewish Federations of North America.  The authors concluded the 6,543,820 figure was an over-count, due to people who live in more than one state during a year.
  28. ^ a b c d e f "The Association of Religion Data Archives (ARDA), Year 2000 Report". ARDA. 2000. Retrieved 2011-06-04.  Churches were asked for their membership numbers. ARDA estimates that most of the churches not reporting were black Protestant congregations.
  29. ^ "2001 National Jewish Population Survey". Ujc.org. Retrieved 2012-12-29. 
  30. ^ Lisa Aiken, The Baal Teshuva Survival Guide (Rossi Publications, 2009), pp. 1–3
  31. ^ "United States". Retrieved 2 May 2013. 
  32. ^ "Demographics". Retrieved 2 May 2013. 
  33. ^ Tweed, Thomas A. "Islam in America: From African Slaves to Malcolm X". National Humanities Center. Retrieved 2009-07-21. 
  34. ^ Kambiz GhaneaBassiri, A History of Islam in America: From the New World to the New World Order (Cambridge University Press; 2010) pp. 59–94
  35. ^ Timothy Miller (1995). America's alternative religions. State University of New York Press. p. 280. 
  36. ^ Mattias Gardell, In the Name of Elijah Muhammad: Louis Farrakhan and The Nation of Islam (Duke University Press, 1996)
  37. ^ C. Eric Lincoln, The Black Muslims in America (3rd ed. Eerdmans, 1994)
  38. ^ "First Muslim Elected to Congress". Cbsnews.com. 2009-02-11. Retrieved 2012-12-29. 
  39. ^ Cebula, Judith (2008-03-11). "Second Muslim elected to Congress". Reuters.com. Retrieved 2012-12-29. 
  40. ^ "Zogby phone survey". Projectmaps.com. Retrieved 2012-03-17. 
  41. ^ "America's Muslims after 9/11". Voice of America. 
  42. ^ "Muslim Americans, Pew Research Center" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-12-29. 
  43. ^ Melton, Encyclopedia of American Religions (2003) pp. 992–995
  44. ^ http://www.utne.com/Mind-Body/Buddhism-Fastest-Growing-American-Religion-Stigma.aspx
  45. ^ http://www.ucpress.edu/book.php?isbn=9780520213012
  46. ^ a b "The Religious Freedom Page". University of Virginia Library. 
  47. ^ a b "Religious Composition of the U.S.". U.S. Religious Landscape Survey. Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life. 2007. Retrieved 2010-11-29. 
  48. ^ Kosmin, Mayer & Keysar (2001-12-19). "American Identification Survey, 2001" (PDF). The Graduate Center of the City University of New York New York. p. 13. Retrieved 2012-11-24. 
  49. ^ a b "Religious Composition of the U.S.". U.S Religious Landscape Survey. Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life. February 2008. Retrieved 2012-08-08. 
  50. ^ "About JAINA". Retrieved 2012-01-16. 
  51. ^ The Pioneers, America, "A historical perspective of Americans of Asian Indian origin 1790–1997" October 31, 2006
  52. ^ Stockton Gurdwara, America, "Stockton California" October 31, 2006
  53. ^ "Unaffiliated". Pew Forum. Retrieved 2012-12-29. 
  54. ^ Phillips, Erica E.; Kesling, Ben (9–10 March 2013). "Some Church Folk Ask: 'What Would Jesus Brew?'". The Wall Street Journal (paper). 
  55. ^ "Atheists Are Distrusted". May 3, 2006. Retrieved 2010-02-16. 
  56. ^ Paulos, John Allen (April 2, 2006). "Who's Counting: Distrusting Atheists". ABC News. Retrieved 2010-02-16. 
  57. ^ "Atheists identified as America's most distrusted minority, according to new U of M study". UMN News. Retrieved 2006-03-22. 
  58. ^ a b "Pew survey: Doubt of God growing quickly among millennials". Religion.blogs.cnn.com. 2012-08-16. Retrieved 2012-12-29. 
  59. ^ Raushenbush, Paul (2012-03-24). "Atheists Rally On National Mall". Huffingtonpost.com. Retrieved 2012-12-29. 
  60. ^ "Excerpts from Allen's Reason The Only Oracle Of Man". Ethan Allen Homestead Museum. 
  61. ^ Newport, Frank (2008-07-28). "Belief in God Far Lower in Western U.S.". The Gallup Organization. Retrieved 2010-09-04. 
  62. ^ Eric Ferreri (2011-08-16). "according to Mark Chaves". Today.duke.edu. Retrieved 2012-12-29. 
  63. ^ "What People Do and Do Not Believe in". Harris Interactive. 2009-12-15. Retrieved 2011-05-15. 
  64. ^ "More Than 9 in 10 Americans Continue to Believe in God". Gallup.com. Retrieved 2012-12-29. 
  65. ^ Merica, Dan (2012-06-12). "Pew Survey: Doubt of God Growing Quickly among Millennials". CNN. Retrieved 2012-06-14. 
  66. ^ "Religiosity and Atheism" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-12-29. 
  67. ^ Utter, Jack. American Indians: Answers to Today's Questions. 2nd edition. University of Oklahoma Press, 2001. P. 145.
  68. ^ Or about .003% of the U.S. population of 300 million. James T. Richardson (2004). Regulating Religion: Case Studies from Around the Globe. Springer. p. 543. 
  69. ^ Introduction to Pagan Studies – Page 151, Barbara Jane Davy – 2007
  70. ^ The Encyclopedia of Magic and Alchemy – Page 84, Rosemary Guiley – 2006
  71. ^ Trinity ARIS 2008; Trinity ARIS 2001
  72. ^ Adler 2006. pp. 337–339.
  73. ^ Scottish witchcraft: the history & magick of the Picts – Page 246, Raymond Buckland – 1991
  74. ^ Wyrmstar, Tamryn. "Silver Chalice Ancestry". Tamryn's Abode http://www.angelfire.com/rant/ingwitch/sca.html. Retrieved 2008-10-29. 
  75. ^ William James, "The Varieties of Religious Experience". pp. 92–93. New York 1929
  76. ^ (The 4th principle of Unitarian Universalism)UUA.org Seven principles
  77. ^ "largest religious groups in the US". Adherents.com. Retrieved 2012-12-29. 
  78. ^ "Taoism at a glance". Bbc.co.uk. 1970-01-01. Retrieved 2012-12-29. 
  79. ^ Everson v. Board of Education
  80. ^ Thomas Berg. "The Pledge of Allegiance and the Limited State". Texas Review of Law and Politics, Vol. 8, Fall 2003. SSRN 503622. "The inclusion of "under God" in the Pledge, the report says, "would serve to deny the atheistic and materialistic conceptions of communism with its attendant subservience of the individual"." 
  81. ^ Scott A. Merriman. Religion and the Law in America: An Encyclopedia of Personal Belief and Public Policy. ABC-CLIO. Retrieved 2007-10-18. "The United States, wanting to distinguish itself from the USSR and its atheist positions, went to great extremes to demonstrate that God was still supreme in this country." 
  82. ^ Natalie Goldstein, Walton Brown-Foster. Religion and the State. Infobase Publishing. Retrieved 2007-10-18. "In the early 1950s, a Presbyterian minister in New York gave a sermon in which he railed against the U.S. Pledge of Allegiance because it contained no references to God. According to the reverend, the American pledge could serve just as well in the atheistic Soviet Union; there was nothing in the U.S. pledge to distinguish it from an oath to the godless communist state. So in 1954, Congress passed a law that inserted the phrase "under God" into the Pledge of Allegiance." 
  83. ^ Ann W. Duncan, Steven L. Jones. Church-State Issues in America Today: Volume 2, Religion, Family, and Education. Præger. Retrieved 2007-10-18. "Including God in the nation's pledge would send a clear message to the world that unlike communist regimes that denied God's existence, the United States recognized a Supreme Being. Official acknowledgement of God would further distinguish freedom-loving Americans from their atheist adversaries." 
  84. ^ John Micklethwait, Adrian Wooldridge. God Is Back: How the Global Revival of Faith Is Changing the World. Penguin Books. Retrieved 2007-10-18. "Recognition of the Supreme Being is the first, the most basic, expression of Americanism," he declared in a speech launching the American Legion's "Back to God" campaign in 1955. "Without God, there could be no American form of government, nor an American way of life." 
  85. ^ William J. Federer. Back Fired. Amerisearch. Retrieved 2007-10-18. "In a National Day of Prayer Proclamation, December 5, 1974, President Gerald R. Ford, quoted President Dwight David Eisenhower's 1955 statement: Without God there could be no American form of government, nor an American way of life. Recognition of the Supreme Being is the first – the most basic – expression of Americanism." 
  86. ^ a b "US Religious Landscape Survey". 2012. Retrieved 2012-12-10. 
  87. ^ a b Media, Minorities, and Meaning: A Critical Introduction Debra L. Merskin – 2011 – Page 88
  88. ^ a b "Mississippians Go to Church the Most; Vermonters, Least". Gallup.com. Retrieved 2012-03-17. 
  89. ^ "'One in 10' attends church weekly". BBC News. April 3, 2007. Retrieved 2007-08-01. 
  90. ^ NCLS releases latest estimates of church attendance, National Church Life Survey, Media release, February 28, 2004
  91. ^ "Harris Interactive survey". Harrisinteractive.com. Retrieved 2012-03-17. 
  92. ^ "Religion Losing Influence in America". Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life. 
  93. ^ "Religion and the 2006 Elections". Pew Forum. 2006-12-01. Retrieved 2012-03-17. 
  94. ^ "Exit poll - Decision 2004- NBCNews.com". MSNBC. Retrieved 2012-12-29. 
  95. ^ http://www.npr.org/blogs/politicaljunkie/2009/01/the_first_catholic_vice_presid.html
  96. ^ Michael Isikoff, "I'm a Sunni Muslim", Newsweek Jan. 4, 2007
  97. ^ Jeffrey M. Jones (2007-02-20). "Some Americans Reluctant to Vote for Mormon, 72-Year-Old Presidential Candidates. Strong support for black, women, Catholic candidates". Gallup News Service. Retrieved 2007-12-25. 
  98. ^ see "Trends continue in church membership growth or decline, reports 2011 Yearbook of American & Canadian Churches", News from the National Council of Churches (Feb. 14, 2011)
  99. ^ "ARDA Sources for Religious Congregations & Membership Data". ARDA. 2000. Retrieved 2010-05-29. 
  100. ^ "The Association of Religion Data Archives (ARDA), Year 2010 Report". ARDA. 2010. 
  101. ^ "U.S.Religious Landscape Survey, Pew Forum (February 2008)" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-12-29. 

Bibliography

  • Buck, Christopher (2009). Religious myths and visions of America: how minority faiths redefined America's world role. Westport, Connecticut: Praeger Publishers. ISBN 978-0-313-35959-0. .
  • De La Torre, Miguel A., Encyclopedia on Hispanic American Religious Culture 2 vol, ABC-CLIO Publishers, 2009.
  • Gaustad, Edwin (1962). Historical atlas of religion in America. Harper & Row. .
  • Gordon, Melton, J. Encyclopedia of American Religions (7th ed. Thomson, 2003) 1408pp
  • Hill, Samuel S., Charles H. Lippy, and Charles Reagan Wilson, eds. Encyclopedia of Religion in the South (2005)
  • Lippy, Charles H., ed. Encyclopedia of the American Religious Experience (3 vol Scribners, 1988)
  • National Council of the Churches of Christ. Yearbook of American Churches: 2010 (2010)
  • Putnam, Robert D., and David E Campbell American Grace: How Religion Divides and Unites Us (2010) excerpt and text search
  • Queen, Edward L. et al. eds, Encyclopedia of American Religious History (3rd ed. 3 vol, Facts on File, 2009)

External links

Religions by country


Religion Portal  







Creative Commons License