Americans’ Confidence In Religion Rises

The number of Americans who regard religion as personally important and who have confidence in religious institutions is rising, as is the number of Americans who are church members, according to new Gallup polls.

“Final 1991 survey measurements all appear to be pointing towards a modest upswing in religious attitudes and behavior,” states the March 1992 issue of Emerging Trends, the newsletter of the Princeton Religion Research Center.

For instance, 58 percent of Americans in 1991 said that religion was very important in their lives and that their confidence in the church is high. That is up in both cases from 56 percent in 1990.

Women (66%) are more likely than men (48%) to attach great importance to religion, the poll shows. Women (61%) are also more likely than men (53%) to express high confidence in the church.

Protestants (65%) are more likely than Catholics (55%) to attach personal importance to religion. But more Americans who identify themselves as Catholics hold church membership (78%) than Protestants (73%). Overall, church membership is up among Americans to 68 percent in 1991, after dipping in 1990 to 65 percent from 69 percent in 1989.

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