Fox News has a story about the latest religious beliefs of Americans.
It includes the following:The New York Times, citing the Pew Research Center, reports that 47 percent of Americans say they attend church at least once a week or more, compared with 37 percent who say they do not.
The Pew Research study also found that the number of people who say religion is “very important” in their lives has grown to 43 percent, up from 28 percent in 2006.
About half of Americans, including 34 percent of Christians, report attending religious services at least a few times a week.
The numbers also show that many of the religiously unaffiliated, who are less religious, still identify with their religion.
The survey also found, among other things, that only 34 percent say they are religiously unafflicted, compared to 48 percent of those who identify as religiously religious.
There is a clear shift in the attitudes of the unaffiliated toward religion.
Nearly half (47 percent) of the people who identify with “nothing in particular,” or those who have no religious affiliation at all, now say religion “is very important in their life,” while a similar percentage of those with no religious identification (46 percent) now say it is “not at all important” or “not as important” to them.
More than half of people with no religion (56 percent) also say religion has “a big influence on how they think about life,” compared to only 30 percent of the general public.
A third of people in the unaffiliation group say they have never attended a religious service at all.
The remaining group is mostly religiously unaffordable, and only one in five (18 percent) says they attend services regularly.
A quarter (25 percent) say they don’t attend services at all at all or attend services less frequently than once a month.
Overall, there is a slight drop in the percentage of Americans who say there is “something special” about religion, from 43 percent to 41 percent.
And, while a majority of Americans continue to identify as Christian, the unaffection is shrinking.
But the Pew study also reports that many people are finding more positive feelings toward religion as time goes on.
“The number of Americans saying religion has become a more important part of their lives is growing as time passes,” the Pew report notes.
“But that doesn’t mean that they’re becoming more optimistic about their relationship with God, or the nature of God.
Rather, the percentage saying religion is ‘not as great as it used to be’ is dropping to 38 percent.”
Among other things:Nearly half of the adults in the study said they believe in God, and the percentage who say this is “mostly” or very often varies by region.
The unaffiliated have become a much smaller slice of the American population, with a slim plurality saying they believe “mostly,” and a plurality saying “very often.”
More than a quarter of the Americans who are unaffiliated say God “is not a personal or personal relationship with them.”