Nearly 9 out 10 adults (87%) state that their religious faith is very important in their lives. A majority of adults describe themselves as “religious” (60%). But it is important to note that 1/3 of those who say religion plays in their lives reject the label of “religious.”
Although most adults consider religion to be a core element in their own lives, the prevailing perception is that most people have experienced a declining degree of spiritual commitment over the past decade. While 1/5th of adults (21%) say that the spiritual commitment of Americans has improved in the last 10 years, 36% say it has remained unchanged and 37% say it has gotten worse.
Cross-cultural studies comparing developed nations show that Americans are perhaps the most religious people in the world. A key shift, however, is the fact that our nation is moving away from being the most Christian oriented nation on earth to a nation of people who are religiously diverse and who maintain a high fascination with the spiritual realm.
Two out of every 3 adults (67%) say they have made a “personal commitment to Jesus Christ that is still important in their life today.” This level of commitment has shown a slight increase in the past decade, rising from the 60% level in the early and mid 1980’s.
People may view themselves as Christian, but their intensity of commitment to the faith is lukewarm. Less than half of its self-proclaimed adherents (41%) say they are “absolutely committed” to Christianity. A similar proportion (44%) say they are “moderately committed” to the faith.
Americans are quite label conscious and are careful about the descriptions they adopt for themselves, 18% chose the term “evangelical.” Almost twice as many people (29%) chose the term “fundamentalist.” A more popular religious term was “born again” selected by almost 4 out of 10 adults (39%).
Three-quarters of all adults (74%) say it would be “very desirable” to have a “close relationship with God.” Two-thirds of all adults (68%) claim they have felt that they were in the presence of God at some time in their lives. In fact, many of those people regularly sense the presence of God; half believe they are in His presence at least one time each week.
Not quite half of the public (45%) strongly agree that the Christian faith is relevant to their lives these days. An additional 1/3rd state that they agree with this notion, but only moderately so.
Two-thirds of all adults (68%) believe that the Christian faith has “all the answers to lead a successful life.” Six out 10 people (58%) also contend that there is no single religious faith which has “all the answers to life’s questions and challenges.” A slight majority (54%) rejects the notion that “all religious faiths teach equally valid truths.”
WHAT DO PEOPLE BELIEVE IN:
Christ’s death and resurrection 85%
Holy spirit indwelling 82%
Power of prayer 82%
Accuracy of Bible 63%
Satan’s existence 40%
Tarot Cards 9%
Power of Crystals 7%