Pew study: Decline in religious belief in the United States, rise in Jewish daily prayer
JNS.org – While America has seen a decline in religious beliefs and behavior over the past seven years, the majority of Americans are still religious, according to the new 2014 Pew Research Center Religious Landscape Study. Thirty-five percent of Jews affiliated with a religion say religion is very important to them, a slight decrease from the same survey conducted by Pew in 2007, but Jewish religious activity has increased in the area of ââprayer daily and participation in religious services.
A group of 35,000 Americans have been polled for insight into America’s religious landscape since Pew’s last such study in 2007. Americans describing themselves as affiliated with a religion have fallen from 83% to 77% . Regardless of religions and levels of affiliation, the number of those who believe in God, pray daily and attend prayer services has all declined.
Jewish respondents, however, reported an increase in daily prayer from 26 percent in 2007 to 29 percent in 2014. Jewish attendance at “weekly or more” religious services was 19 percent, up from 16 percent. Christians have also shown an increase in their daily prayer, and 68% find religion very important in their lives, up from 66% in 2007.
A growing number of Jews and Christians surveyed consider themselves to be more spiritual. The overall decline in belief, according to Pew, is largely due to Millennials who are not affiliated with religion and now make up about 23% of America’s adult population. Their beliefs tend to be more liberal, for example, in attitudes toward homosexuality and abortion, and they make up about 38% of all registered Democrats, showing potential for greater influence in partisan politics.