Survey Reveals Strong U.S. Connection to Local Churches
Numbers show how Americans prioritize religion.
BY CATHOLIC NEWS AGENCY
| Posted 3/5/13 at 10:59 AM
WASHINGTON — A new survey reports that Americans feel more connected to their local church than to any other institution in society.
According to Rasmussen Reports, “nothing else comes close” to the bond between Americans and their local religious institutions.
A Rasmussen survey released March 3 found that 54% of U.S. adults feel somewhat or very connected to their local church or religious organization, with 34% saying they are “very connected.” The survey did not ask respondents’ religious affiliation.
Local charities and local recreational groups, including sports leagues or theater groups, tied for second place, with 12% feeling very connected.
Feelings of political connectedness are much lower than religious connections among Americans.
Forty-two percent said they are not at all connected to a local political party, while only 25% said they are not at all connected to a local church or similar religious organization.
Just 7% of respondents said they feel very connected to their local government or to the federal government, while three groups of 5% each said they feel very connected to their state’s government, their local political party or a local advocacy group like an environmental group or a pro-life group, Rasmussen said.
Feelings of connectedness may be age-related. Older Americans are more likely to say they feel very connected to all organizations.
Forty-six percent of senior citizens said they are very connected to their local church or religious organization, while 35% of middle-aged Americans and 28% of young adults said the same.
About 44% of Republicans said they felt very connected to their local religious group, while 30% of Democrats and 29% of the politically unaffiliated agreed.
The survey of 1,000 U.S. adults has a margin of error of plus or minus three percentage points.
A Rasmussen survey released in February also indicated how Americans prioritize religion.
The survey sought to measure U.S. adults’ strongest personal allegiance other than family. Among survey respondents, 35% of adults said their strongest personal allegiance is to their church, with 31% saying their strongest allegiance is to their country.
Only 30% of Catholics said their greatest loyalty was to their church, while 38% said they were more loyal to their country.
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