Poll: Black Women Most Religious in America

Washington Post survey: 9 in 10 turn to faith in tough times

By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff

Posted Jul 7, 2012 6:56 AM CDT

(Newser) – White evangelicals may be making plenty of noise this electoral season, but a new study suggests that the most religious group in America is actually black women, reports the Washington Post. Highlights from its in-depth survey with the Kaiser Family Foundation:

  • 74% of black women say "living a religious life" is very important to them, versus 70% for black men, 57% for white women, and 43% for white men.
  • When it comes to getting through tough times, 87% of black women said faith in God is "very important," compared to 79% of black men, 66% of white women, and 51% of white men.
  • About a quarter of black women said religion wasn't that important to them, with only 2% saying "not at all."

One sociologist chalks it up to cultural differences, with many black women growing up immersed in church, gospel music, and Sunday school. Another expert says that “black women have been the most mistreated and scandalized in US society" and thus it's logical they would "would seek out their faith as a way of finding relief, reprieve, resolution and redemption."

A congregation member prays at Franklin Avenue Baptist Church in New Orleans.
A congregation member prays at Franklin Avenue Baptist Church in New Orleans.   (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
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