Religious Findings from Pew

I was checking out Pew’s survey results today, and I thought I’d summarize some of the interesting findings.

Nearly 4 of 5 people (78.4 percent) are Christian. Half of Americans are Protestants (51.3 percent), and a fourth are evangelical Protestants (26.3 percent). A fourth are Catholic (23.9 percent).

The same fraction of Americans — 1.6 or 1.7 percent — are Mormon, Jewish, or atheist.

Most people of all American religions, except Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses, think “many religions can lead to eternal life.” That’s a little bit funny, because that means most Mormons believe that 98.3 percent of the nation is not headed for eternal life, while most Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that 99.3 percent of the nation is doomed. I suppose small sects have to be particularly strident in order to retain followers.

Some people seem to be confused, because Pew claims that 21 percent of Atheists believe in God, and 6 percent of atheists believe in a “personal God.” Huh.

71 percent of the population claims they are “absolutely certain” that God exists. Not surprisingly, only 41 percent of Jews are so certain.

“Only” 56 percent of the population claims “religion is very important in their lives,” while 39 percent “attend religious services at least once a week.”

2 thoughts on “Religious Findings from Pew”

  1. My first thought is astonishment at how people can be so disintegrated. If 71 percent are certain that God exists how could any one of them say that religion is not important in their lives.

    My astonishment of course assumes that ideas and consistency matter, which probably isn’t consciously held as important by many of the respondents.

  2. Maybe some “atheists” consider themselves only atheistic towards the Christian god and that’s enough for them. For example, where would deists fit in that survey? I suspect some of them just called themselves atheists.

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