How Important is Religion in Your State?

Sam Rainer

December 28, 2009

The Pew Forum on Religion in Public Life has ranked each state according to how religious it is. While they recognize the difficulty in defining the term “religious,” they have provided four separate measures for the ranking system—the importance of religion in people’s lives, frequency of attendance at worship services, frequency of prayer, and absolute certainty of belief in God.

Who’s number one? Mississippi (in every category). Second place goes to Alabama (for importance of religion). And, of course, the other Bible belt states are ranked highly as well. These rankings are similar to another poll recently completed by Gallup. They polled over 350,000 adults in the U.S, asking the straightforward question, “Is religion an important part of your daily life?” Both Mississippi and Alabama again ranked number one and two, respectively, in the Gallup poll.

The folks at Pew have created a great interactive graph that details each measure and ranking by state. Click here to view it, and then drop back by here to give us any thoughts about religion in your state.

5 comments on “How Important is Religion in Your State?”

  1. We are planting a church in Anchorage, AK and have found over the past four months, this data to be true. Not only do 63% say religion is not important to them, but only 22% attend church. That means that 280,000 people in my city see no value in the church. That breaks my heart. We need help in Alaska. There has not been a successful SBC church plant in Alaska in the last 15 years.

    We’ve got great partners in the lower 48, but could do so much more. Pastor Glynn Stone with Mobberly Baptist Church in Longview, TX is sending 120 volunteers this summer to help with the launch along with financial support.

    Is there a way to connect with churches that want to be apart of a SBC church plant? Half of the population of Alaska lives in Anchorage. If Anchorage comes to know Christ, we can change the state. No other city in America has that potential. Help us see Anchorage come to know Christ.

    Brent Williams
    True North Church, Anchorage, AK

  2. E.L. Butterworth says:

    I appreciate the site very much but I can’t find the rankings of the states, just AL and MS as #1 and 2.

    Can you give me a litle direction?

    E.L. Butterworth

  3. Sam Rainer says:

    E.L. – click on the icon that says “State-by-state religious commitment analysis”

  4. Saffy says:

    I would like to state my disagreement with the comments above by Brent Williams from True North Church.

    Christ does not need to be known by Anchorage residents. It is down to the individual to find their own path to God if they so choose. It is not mandatory and the only path to being a good person nor is Christ the only vehicle through which to find God.

    Leave Alaskans to find their own way. There is more than one valid path in this life. Preach tolerance and acceptance for all and allow people to choose for themselves, and seek out a specific religion and route if they so wish.

    Christ is professed to have taught love of every man – if this truly is the case, love the people around you enough to let them choose and find their own way. Proselyting is Not the right way to treat people!

  5. Ryan says:

    You condemn Brent for claiming his beliefs are absolute and preach tolerance.

    Are you not intolerant of his “intolerance”?

    The Bible I read and base my life off of says that Jesus Christ is the only way. If I fully believe that, then I refuse to sit back and allow someone who gets offended at the absolute call of Jesus Christ to stop me.

    If you had the answer, I’d want to know it from you.

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