Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Importance of Religion

(from FotF's Pastor's Weekly Briefing)

The United States is generally a religious nation, although the
degree of this religiosity varies across states and regions of the
country. Overall, 65 percent of Americans say religion is an important
part of their daily lives, according to results of a new report
released this week on

When asked the straightforward question, "Is religion an important
part of your daily life?" (in the more than 350,000 interviews
conducted by Gallup in 2008), analysis found the top 10 most religious
states to be: Mississippi (85%); Alabama (82%); South Carolina (80%);
Tennessee (79%); Louisiana (78%); Arkansas (78%); Georgia (76%); North
Carolina (76%); Oklahoma (75%); Kentucky (74%) and Texas (74%).

Results for the 10 least religious states showed: Vermont (42%); New
Hampshire (46%); Maine (48%); Massachusetts (48%); Alaska (51%);
Washington (52%); Oregon (53%); Rhode Island (53%); Nevada (54%) and
Connecticut (55%).

Additionally, at least half of the residents of all but four states
(Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine and Massachusetts) say religion is
important in their daily lives. Although there is a wide range in the
self-reported importance of religion — from a high of 85 percent for
residents of Mississippi to a low of 42 percent for residents of
Vermont — the distribution of religiosity by state takes the form of a
bell-shaped curve, clustered around the overall nationwide mean of 65
percent. Twenty-three of the 50 states and District of Columbia are in
the range of 60 to 70 percent saying religion is important.

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