African Americans top U.S. religious measures-Pew

January 30, 2009

An analysis by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life suggests that blacks are considerably more religious than the overall U.S. population. You can see the whole report here.

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,” the report says.

Its highlights include:

- Nearly eight in 10 blacks (79 percent) say religion is very important in their lives, compared with 56 percent among all U.S. adults.

- Blacks attend religious services and pray more frequently than the general population. While 39 percent of all Americans report attending religious services at least once a week, 53 percent of blacks report the same.

- Similarly, while 58 percent of all Americans report praying at least once a day, 76 percent of blacks report praying daily.

- The vast majority of blacks are Protestant (78 percent), compared with 51 percent of the U.S. adult population as a whole.

The findings, drawn mostly from data within  Pew’s Religious Landscape Survey conducted in 2007, have political as well as cultural implications.

President Barack Obama and his Democratic Party made a strong bid in last November’s presidential election to woo voters of faith — a strategy that dovetailed neatly with Obama’s strong appeal to the party’s black base.

The survey also highlights the cultural and social conservatism of U.S. blacks on issues such as gay rights.

According to Pew Research Center surveys conducted in the summer of 2008, nearly two-thirds of blacks said they opposed gay marriage compared to 51 percent among whites.

Some leading groups in the religious right such as the Family Research Council have been tapping this vein by forming alliances with leading black Christian conservatives.

Democrat and Republican strategists will no doubt read this report carefully.

(Photo: Barack Obama at a New Orleans church, Aug. 26, 2007. REUTERS/Lee Celano, USA)

31 comments

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i am a member of multiracial church and the comments are so true,we are truly blessed.i only hope that we are given the same immunity that the black churches get.living in california it is only time before we are going to be confronted like the churches are in sweden ,where pasters are arrested for preaching biblical text.because of the preference of the black community for a certain political party,groups with the same affiliation stay clear,like what happened in the vote ” yes on 8″protest.i only hope that when this happens we will see a swell of togetherness in the christian community.

Posted by brian lee | Report as abusive

And were has it gotten us after 400yrs? Waiting on Jesus to come and save us…lol

Posted by JSPAIN | Report as abusive

What the heck are you talking about? Which comments are “so true”? What immunity has been given to the Black church? Have you ever been to a Black church? Why must you people always make silly justifications and mindless comparisons between your privileged lives, and the assumed opportunities which you all think Blacks are receiving. In my opinion, all religion is a joke.

Posted by Tie | Report as abusive

Jspain,

What have it gotten us? The first African-American President of the United States. If you look at our history and where we have come from you can plainly see that God has brought us from a mighty long way. We were not supposed to achieve as much as we have achieved in this short of time. Just imagine what more God can and will do if more African-American would trust and seek God.

Posted by William Moore | Report as abusive

This study is very true, but has always been true about Africans on the American continent. From the time of slavery the African Americans were woed into submission by Christianity and stripped of their true religon of Islam(watch Roots).They could relate to Jesus Christ because the story was well known in their culture(Islam) and his experiences were similar to what their lives had become. To this day African Americans have carried on the traditon of Christianity mostly because the same things they were praying for during slavery(freedom, justice, equality for all) many are still praying for today.African Americans love them some Jezus!!!

Posted by jennahmama | Report as abusive

jspain …For real…where has it gotten us waitin on JESUS

Posted by me | Report as abusive

Jennahmama, why don’t you learn your history? Islam the black man’s religion? Please! That’s so far from the truth it’s ridiculous.
Fact: Ethiopia is the oldest Christian country in the world.
Fact: Nine of the 17 revered theologians that formed “Western” church doctrine were African, including St. Augustine.
Fact: Three of the first four Christian councils that formulated Christian doctrine were held in Africa.
Fact: In the book of Acts, African Christians from Cyrene (a territory in Africa) preached the gospel to the Greeks (Europeans) when the Hebrew Christians refused to. Thus, Africans were missionaries to Europe before Europeans became missionaries to Africa centuries later.
Fact: Africans accepted Jesus Christ as the Son of God six centuries before Islam even existed.
Fact: Arab (not black) Muslims converted Africans in Egypt to Christianity at sword point in the 7th and 8th century.
Fact: Arab Muslims were the first group of people to target Africans solely for the purpose of slavery.
Fact: to this day (in the Sudan), Arab muslims are enslaving Africans.
Fact: Arabic names like Mohammed, Ali, Bey, Omar, etc… are not African names but in fact “the original slave name” for Africans.
So dig a little deeper than a movie (Roots) next time you try and drop some knowledge.

Posted by griot | Report as abusive

jennahmama slavery was not started by america,it had been going on for thousands of years and the slaves were supplied to be transported by arabs,what religion? slavery still evident middle east,the supply comes from somalia ,if not sure investigate saudi arabia.

Posted by brian lee | Report as abusive

The slave has always been more religious than the slave mater. Blacks have always waited to receive their heaven after death,but whites enjoy their heaven on earth.

Posted by AK | Report as abusive

i agree with griot, because africans always had roots in God. also, african americans, have been true christians even before the “white man” was seeing how during the time of slavery they had a strong religious views while most white people called themselves christians and still had slaves, and even the white pastors were being hypocrites, by going along with the racism.

Posted by someone | Report as abusive

As the original inhabitants of this planets, Black people feel and know the closeness with the Creator as we are the original man made from the ground.

Religion is for suckers and slaves, spirituality is for people, long before either of these monotheistic machines existed, there were civilizations that provided the storyboard for what most of us have been duped into believing are “facts”, as they apply to our Religious convictions, all of which in one way or another lead back to the sumerians, which by the way recorded it’s history and epic of creation on stone tablets, pre-dating the old testament by more than the old testament pre-dates anyone reading this now, (and get this there are warehouses full of these tablets)all over the globe with depictions of our solar system with planets in perfect relevant distance from the sun as we know them today, ask yourself “how could this be possible 100′s of thousands of years before the telescope” ask your priest, minister, rabi, imam, if he/she is familiar with any of this and if the answer is no then they should not be acting as teachers of religion, if the answer is yes then your next ? should be why keep this a secret? after all this is without doubt the predecessor to your accepted faith, and if you dont know where you come from how can you know where you are going, before you dismiss me as an athiest you should know that I acknowledge there is a supreme being, one that is so much greater than the diluted version we have been force fed, and if you take a literal reading of your bible or koran you will find that if you intend to ever see the face of god, you must first seek and you will find that God has made you a God in his image, and you would be a fool to believe that you could be worthy of his presence, without first taking the steps to find the God that exists in you, and furthermore the God that lives in even your enemy, for when you do this he/she ceases to be an adversary and becomes a step closer to the light that is God, Allah, Yahweh, Anu, or whatever name is in vogue to call him nowdays, don’t be afraid to go beyond the opinions of others, the Knights Templar weren’t and as a result they blackmailed the catholic church and half of the fatcats in europe, and if you research for the truth it can never be bad, it might destroy some myths that were previously facts in your mind, A relationship with “YOUR” God does not require the understanding or guidance of anyone else, remember you are a God just like them, and as a God you have been left with the responsibilty to seek the truth in all things, be they altruristic or aggravating to your position or stance,

To Griot: I did not know that names such as Mohammed, Ali, and Omar were considered to be “the original slave name” from history classes that I took, we all learned that these people had extreme importance in the Islam faith. Mohammad was the prophet for the Islam people, Ali was his son-in-law and cousin and people who are Shiites follow from his lead he also served as a very important caliph (leader of the Muslim community). Anyways, I am very interested in learning more about that, could you please suggest some readings where you learned this information?

Posted by Nikki | Report as abusive

to Jspain:
The progress that has been made was not guided by an external force of God but an internal one. The progress which we made was not of some invisible external source but by us. It was made by us b/c of the horrendous conditions we were facing and a need for change. We got up off our butts, unified for a cause and did something about our situation! We need to do this once more. Lets begin to take credit for our struggles and triumphs and realize it was us all along.

Posted by sflynn | Report as abusive

Tooooo religious

Posted by Numonic | Report as abusive

WHAT YOUR POSTS NEED TO REALIZE IS ORIGINAL SPIRTUILATY LEFT ETHIOPIA AND WENT INTO EGYPT, BUILT THE PYRAMIDS ETC. ALL THESE RELIGIONS AND GODS COMES FROM THE ANCIENT STORY OF ASR,ASET GREEKS CALLED THEM OSIRIS,ISIS.EVERY LITERARY WORK THAT WAS WRITTEN ON THE WALLS IN ANCIENT EGYPT,ON THE WALLS AS HEIRGLYPHICS,WERE STOLEN COPIED,PLAGERIZED TWISTED AROUND BY THE EUROPEANS/ARABS FOR A EUROPEAN/ARAB WORLDVIEW AND NOT AN AFRIKAN WORLDWIEW,THE EUROPEANS/ARABS BASTERDIZED CHRIST/ISLAM SO MUCH THAT THEY USED IT AS A CONQUERING METHOD TO DESTROY,FOR HUNDREDS OF YRS WE DIDNT FALL FOR IT THEN IN THE 1400′S WE AFRIKANS EITHR JOINED THE CHRIST/MUSLIM CRUSADES. THE INFORMATION EUROPEANS/MUSLIMS DIDNT UNDERSTAND,THEY WROTE IN THEIR KORAN/BIBLE/TORAH THAT WHAT THEY DIDTN KNOW ABOUT WAS PAGANISM.MONOTHEISM.WHICH IS A HISTORICAL LIE,THIS IS WHY BLACK WHO ARE RELIGIOUS NOW ARE STILL CONGFUSED CAUSE THEY ARE READING A BIBLE/KORAN THATS JUSTYFING BULLSHIT THAT WE ARE GOING THROUGH.THEY WALK INTO BLACK CHURCHES TO SEE A WHITE FACE.AND THAT GOD IS THE FALSE GOD,ITS JUST AS FALSE AS THE HOLIDAY CHRISTMAS,JUST AS FALSE AS SANTA CLAUS…..EUROPEANS NEVER HAD A GODLY COMLEX UNTIL THEY ENTERED EGYPT,BUT THEY DIDNT UNDERSTAND AND COULDNT COMPREHEND THE SPIRITUALITY SO THEY CALLED IT PAGANIM

Posted by Numonic | Report as abusive

Black afrikans new who is and was before europeans came into afrika.europeans never had a godly complex until they came into afrika nor did the ARABS. ALL THE INFO IN THE TORAH/BIBLE/KORAN COME OFF THE ANICENT WALS OF EGYPT.NOT ALL SOME,BECAUSE WHAT THE ARBSS/EUROPEANS DIDNT NOT UNDERSTAND THEY CALLED IT PAGANISM OR MONOTHEISM TO THE WORLD, WE NEVER BELIEVED THAT UNTIL AORUND 1400 WHEN AFRIKANS STARTED BECOMING RELIGIOUS,WE WERE ALWAYS SPIRITUAL PEOPLE WITHOUT THE RELGIION WE DIDNT NEED RELGION NOR DO WE NEED IT KNOW,BUT CHRISTIANITY/ISLAM BECAME BASTERDIZED BY THE EUROPEANS/ARABS ANDTHEY BEGAN TO USE IT AS A CONQUERING FORCE WITH CHRSIT/ISLAM CRUSADES STARTED BU BOTH OF THEM

Posted by JAY | Report as abusive

THE FACE OF CHRISTIANITY STARTED BECAUSE THEY ALWAYS WANTED TO BE LIKE THE EGYPTIANS BUT COULDNT SO THEIR FORM OF CHRISTIANITY THEY HAD TO HAVE A WHITE FACE,SO AT THE COUNCIL OF NICEA 325 AD THEY GOT THE JESUS CHRIST LOOKIN IMAGE FROM SERAPUS PTOLEMY SOME WHITE GUY FROM ROME THIS IS THE IMAGE OF EUROEAN CHRISTIAN GOD,NOT BLACK AMERICANS,DURING SLAVERY THEY FED BLACKS IN AMERICA ON THE ISLANDS,BRAZIL,CUBA, THIS WHITE IMAGE AND BECAUSE THEY WERE KILLING US FOR PRACTICING OUR ORIGINAL CULTURE BLACKS IN AMERICA AND ALL OVER DECIDED TO CONFORM TO EUROPEAN STANDARDS AND WE HAVE TILL THIS DAY,AND AS LONG AS WE CONFORM TO THAT OUR SOCIAL ILLS WILL NOT CHANGE.IF WE CONTINUE TO BE AFRIKAN BUT OPERATE WITH EUROPEAN VALUES WE WILL DIE.OUR CULTURE NEEDS TO GO BACK TO ORGINS BECOMING AFRIKAN CENTERED MANY BLACKS IN AMERICA,AFRIKA,BRAZIL UNDERSTAND THIS THATS WHY WHEN YOU HERE OF PEOPLE STILL PRACTICNG ANCIENT CUSTOMS,OR TRIBAL CUSTOMS THIS IS WHAT THEY ARE TALKING ABOUT.CHURCHES IN THE SOUTH WERE NOT ALLOWED TO OPEN AS A STANDARD IN AMERICA UNLESS IT HAD THIS IMAGE OF THEIR GOD IN IT THIS IS THE TABOO FOR BLACKS WITH RELIGION AND BLACKS IN CHURCHES ARE BEEING FOOLED BY THE FALSE PREISTESS WHO JUST WANNA COLLECT MONEY AND PAY NO TAXES.MANY BLACKS ARE AWAKENING AT THIS TIME AND GOING BACK TO THE ORIGINS

Posted by JAY | Report as abusive

SO IN ALL BLACKS ARE PREYING TO THE WRONG GOD AND IT TELLS THEM THIS IN THE BIBLE,CAUSE IT WAS WRITTEN ON THE WALLS OF EGYPT BUT BLACKS HAVE BEEN PROGRAMMED TO THINK THE REAL GOD IS THIS WHITE JESUS.VERY DEEP.THE BIBLE HAS BASIC LAWS IN THEIR THAT ARE CORRECT TO FOLLOW BUT AS FAR AS THE STORIES AND OTHER PARTS COMPLETELY TWISTED OR JUST FALSE ALTOGETHER.FOR SOME REASON BLACKS WANT TO THINK EUROPEANS WHO TOOK STOLE BEAT OUR CULTURE OOUT OF US LIKE THEY WILL ACTUALLY GIVE US A BOOK TOREAD THAT WAS GONNA BE REAL. THIS IS THE BIGGEST SCREWUP IN LIFE,BUT IT WILL COME BACK HAUNT THE PERPERTRAITORS FOR A LONG TIME,THE BIBLE IS A SMALL PERCENTAGE OF THE SPIRITUALITY OF AFRIKAN PEOPLE IN THE US HAD, IN OTHER WORDS BLACKS HAVE BEEN NOT ONLY DUMMIED TO TO EUROPEAN STANDARDS,BUT LOST ALL OUT REAL SPRITUALITY BECASUE OF THIS IMAGE OF GOD AND THE FLASE BIBLE.BIBLE A LIKE A PIECE OF A THOUSAND WORD PUZZLE A SMALL SECTION OF THE PUZZLE,BUT WE WALK AROUND WITH ONLY THAT BOOK LIKE ONCE YOU HAVE THAT BOOK THATS IT,THIS WAS APART OF THE SLAVERY PROGRAM

Posted by JAY | Report as abusive

African Americans top U.S. religious measures-Pew WHICH TRANSLATE AFRICAN AMERICANS MOST GULLIBLE GROUP IN AMERICA!

Posted by jbcrush | Report as abusive

Hey, how about typing in lower case, too? These comments look like they’re screaming when they’re all in caps.

Posted by Tom Heneghan | Report as abusive

yes tie, i attended a black church. the preacher was a racist so i walked out like obama should have done.

Posted by brian lee | Report as abusive

being a racist is nothing to do with the color of your skin,it is whats in your heart.i attended a school in northern england, the number of students about 500.there was only one black kid in the school,but he was something else.he the schools prefect(head boy],he was the best scholar,he captained the football team.,and led the counties athletic team as well.every one in the school loved him,teachers as well.he was every one,s friend,and guess what he was an orphan,he was bused in every day from’” dr barnado,s home” an orphanage.many years later, he is still my hero and always will be, and i thank him for the racial balance that i have in my life.

Posted by brian lee | Report as abusive

It is a shame that so many black people are closed minded. God doesn’t exist, and praying does absolutely nothing more than wishful thinking does.

~black atheist~

Posted by Oh! Lonesome Me | Report as abusive

oh lonesome me what are hanging about the religious sites for?are you hoping someone will befriend you.the disciples said “Why do you speak to the multitudes in parables and not to us”?he said” because you have been GIVEN the knowledge to understand the mysteries of god “.sorry buddy this is a hand out you missed out on up till now.god bless.

Posted by brian lee | Report as abusive

i Am a black american and let me say we are not all not like that so stop sayinging BLACKS because your puting us in one catorgy!
PS i’m religious just in my own way!!

Posted by BTrust | Report as abusive

well first of all let’s get something clear
first of all , Americans has traditions, and religion carries on religious traditions for everything including ol folk tales and superstitions

Religion vs relationship with God
you can be religious and not go to heaven ,it is all about your relationship with God

Posted by Cristella | Report as abusive

NEWS FLASH – Studies confirm that water is wet too!

While I do understand and appreciate the value of studies like this, I always find it humorous when they confirm the obvious.

As a black person who was immunized from religious belief by learning to reason before I learned to believe, I am continually dismayed at the level of religiousity I encounter from even the better informed of us in the black community.

I look forward to a day when more black people will put down religion and other forms of god belief as vestiges of the past and deal with reality directly and affirmatively.

We live in a complex, confusing but also wonderful world that offers an infinity of possibilities if we embrace reality rather than believe in the superstitions we call religion and spirituality.

These beliefs in magic interfere with our ability to operate in the real world and keep us hoping for celestial Santa Clauses to handle our business for us which sabotages our progress in developing the skills to handle things ourselves.

While I do not expect to live to see this day, I am sure that one day Jesus, Yahweh and other god characters will take their rightful places alongside Osiris, Zeus, Thor and all of the other imaginary gods that human societies have made up over the years to try and explain a world that exceeded the grasp of their knowledge.

While our knowledge of the world and universe will never be complete, we certainly have learned enough to know that our ancestors were clueless about the true nature of most things physical, so there is no rational reason to think that they somehow got it right about things that we do not understand even today…

Posted by Ken Granderson | Report as abusive

sorry ken, i was a none believer now i am a believer,have been for twenty years.my faith sustains me,it makes everything worthwhile ,not only have i only heard about the lord ,he lives within me.he is more tangible to me than any thing you could say.he is with me on this journey that i make through this life ,and some day i will stand before him,WELL DONE GOOD- AND FAITHFUL SERVANT.

Posted by brian lee | Report as abusive

The Judeo Christian religion makes no sense for blacks unless we intend to remain forever just partial human beings

Posted by ripuree | Report as abusive

We African Americans are suffering from Stockholm Syndrome, and we’ve therefore cursed/doomed ourselves to Mental Enslavement until we find the courage to let go of the Judeo Christian God.

Posted by ripuree | Report as abusive