Majorities of members of historically black (62%) and evangelical (59%) churches say that the Bible should be taken literally, word for word. Nearly 9 in 10 Filipinos (87 percent) consider religion very important in their lives, according to the 2015 Global Attitudes survey of the United States-based Pew Research Center. Majorities of both groups (54% among Mormons, 77% among Jehovah’s Witnesses) say there is only one true way to interpret the teachings of their religion. These four measures will be used in the next chapter as lenses through which to examine social and political attitudes within the religious traditions. Rural: 55.51% 1. Among the general public, adults with less education tend to be most likely to say religion is very important in their lives; this is also true for the unaffiliated and for Muslims. Mormons (90%) stand out for their propensity to enroll their children in religious education, followed by members of evangelical (79%) and historically black (77%) churches. This holds true to varying degrees among many religious groups, though equal numbers of male and female Mormons (83%) say religion is very important in their lives. However, relatively narrow majorities of Jews and the unaffiliated express belief in miracles, and among Jehovah’s Witnesses, only about a third (30%) believe in miracles. At the same time, 14% believe with certainty that God exists but think of God as an impersonal force rather than a person. By contrast, at least eight-in-ten atheists (85%), agnostics (80%) and those in the secular unaffiliated group (85%) say they seldom or never attend religious services. Immigrants as % of Population: 0.2% 2. It looks first at the various degrees of importance Americans assign to religion in their lives and explores their views of God, Scripture, miracles and other religious beliefs. Somewhat smaller majorities of other religious groups – Muslims (82%), members of mainline Protestant churches (73%), Catholics (72%), Orthodox Christians (71%) and Hindus (57%) – are also completely certain of the existence of God or a universal spirit. Participation in these kinds of congregational activities outside of worship services is particularly common among Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses; more than three-quarters of both groups participate in at least one such activity every month (77% and 76%, respectively). Older Americans are more likely than younger Americans to say they attend services at least once a week. Majorities of members of evangelical (54%) and historically black (60%) churches also participate in at least one of these activities on at least a monthly basis. A majority of members of historically black churches and Mormons also meditate weekly (55% and 56%, respectively). Large majorities of members of mainline churches (59%), Catholics (57%) and Jews (60%) say practical experience and common sense are their biggest influences, as do two-thirds of the unaffiliated (66%). Majorities of Catholics and members of mainline Protestant churches, on the other hand, say their churches should adjust traditional practices in light of new circumstances (42%) or adopt modern beliefs and practices (15% among Catholics and 14% among members of mainline churches). But even among more secular adults, there is a high level of belief in absolute standards of right and wrong (65% of the secular unaffiliated take this position as do 59% of agnostics and 58% of atheists). It then moves into a discussion of worship and other congregational activities, followed by a look at devotional practices, spiritual experiences and other practices. A significant minority of Buddhists (27%) say they rely most on philosophy and reason. Only 30% of Buddhists do so, along with 32% of Hindus, 42% of Muslims and 55% of Jews. Mormons (91%) are especially likely to do this. Among Catholics and members of mainline and historically black churches, however, these differences are relatively small. This holds true for most religious traditions with the exception of Mormons, Buddhists and Hindus, where men and women profess roughly the same levels of absolute belief in a personal God. Atheists, agnostics and the secular unaffiliated are somewhat less likely to take this point of view compared with the religious unaffiliated (75%).

Not surprisingly, the unaffiliated population (8%) is least likely to participate in volunteer or social activities at a place of worship. Jews (38%) and the unaffiliated (35%) are among the groups least likely to say they feel spiritual peace and well-being on a weekly basis. Filipinos are very religious In all corners of a Filipino house, you can find brazen images of crosses and other religious paraphernalia. Roughly two-thirds of Catholics (67%), members of mainline churches (64%) and Orthodox Christians (68%) are official members of a church. Only 7% say they have experienced or witnessed a miraculous healing, by far the lowest of any religious tradition. From the Filipino word kamay or hand, kamayan is the traditional way of dining using one’s bare hands. Roughly three-in-ten (29%) cite religious teachings and beliefs as their biggest influence, but a slim majority of the public (52%) says that they look most to practical experience and common sense when it comes to questions of right and wrong. Mormons (92%) are most likely to say they or their families are official members of a local church or house of worship. Slightly more than a third (34%) are absolutely certain in this belief. In fact, nearly half of all Jehovah’s Witnesses (48%) say that they completely disagree with the statement that miracles occur today as in ancient times. There is no generation gap, however, among Mormons, Jews and Muslims. Among Muslims, however, men are much more likely to attend services weekly, and among Mormons, Jews and the unaffiliated, the figures are roughly equal. And though the overwhelming majority of the public expresses a belief in absolute standards of right and wrong, the survey suggests that this belief is shaped as much by practical experience as by religious beliefs. This is also true, though to a lesser extent, among Catholics and members of historically black churches. The religious unaffiliated group is more likely to engage in such discussions, with 21% saying they participate in such conversations at least once a week and 35% doing so on a monthly basis. In fact, majorities or pluralities of these groups say their sacred texts are written by men and do not constitute the word of God. For instance, Americans who are not affiliated with any religion often report having some specific religious beliefs and practices. But within certain Christian traditions, including members of evangelical, mainline and historically black Protestant churches as well as Mormons, those with more education tend to attend church somewhat more often than those with less education. But the unaffiliated tend to be less certain about this belief than members of most other religious traditions. Members of non-Christian religions tend to be less likely than Christians to report official membership in a house of worship. Among Hindus, too, fewer than one-in-ten (9%) share their faith weekly. There is significant variance, however, when it comes to the certainty and nature of people’s belief in God. But here again, Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses stand out. More than four-in-ten of the unaffiliated population (41%) says religion is at least somewhat important in their lives. Many Hindus also belong to large congregations, with 24% saying they attend services at congregations with more than 2,000 members. The survey finds that women are significantly more likely than men to say religion is very important in their lives. Importance of Religion and Demographic Groups Alternatively, it could indicate that many who do not identify with a particular religion nevertheless belong to a religious congregation.

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