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Indeed, among those who are highly religious, nearly nine-in-ten (86%) say they rely “a lot” on prayer and personal religious reflection when making major life decisions, which exceeds the share of the highly religious who say they rely a lot on their own research.Other key findings in this report include: The remainder of this report explores these and other findings in greater depth.A new Pew Research Center study of the ways religion influences the daily lives of Americans finds that people who are highly religious are more engaged with their extended families, more likely to volunteer, more involved in their communities and generally happier with the way things are going in their lives.
As might be expected, the religious makeup of the highly religious and less religious also are quite distinct.
Fully half of highly religious American adults (49%) identify with evangelical Protestant denominations, compared with about one-in-five (19%) of those who are not highly religious.
And when making decisions about what goods and services to buy, they are no more inclined to consider the manufacturers’ environmental records or whether companies pay employees a fair wage. The study and this report were made possible by The Pew Charitable Trusts, which received support for the project from Lilly Endowment Inc. adults whether each of a series of 16 beliefs and behaviors is “essential,” “important but not essential,” or “not important” to what their religion means to them, personally.
These are among the latest findings of Pew Research Center’s U. Two previous reports on the Landscape Study, based on a 2014 telephone survey of more than 35,000 adults, examined the changing religious composition of the U. public and described the religious beliefs, practices and experiences of Americans. The supplemental survey was designed to go beyond traditional measures of religious behavior – such as worship service attendance, prayer and belief in God – to examine the ways people exhibit (or do not exhibit) their religious beliefs, values and connections in their day-to-day lives. Among Christians, believing in God tops the list, with fully 86% saying belief in God is “essential” to their Christian identity.
When asked where they look for guidance when making major life decisions, Americans overall say they rely more on their own research than on direction from experts.
Fully eight-in-ten Americans say they rely “a lot” on their own research when making major decisions.Relatively few Christians see living a healthy lifestyle, buying from companies that pay fair wages or protecting the environment as key elements of their faith.But those who do see these things as essential to what it means to be a Christian are more likely than others to say they live a healthy lifestyle (by exercising, for example), consider how a company treats its employees and the environment when making purchasing decisions, or attempt to recycle or reduce waste as much as possible.By comparison, fewer Christians who do see helping the poor as central to their religious identity say they worked to help the poor during the previous week (42%).The same pattern is seen in the survey’s questions about interpersonal interactions, health and social consciousness.The survey posed similar questions to members of non-Christian faiths and religiously unaffiliated Americans (sometimes called religious “nones”), asking whether various behaviors are essential to “what being a moral person means to you.” Among the unaffiliated, honesty (58%) and gratitude (53%) are the attributes most commonly seen as essential to being a moral person.(Findings about non-Christians are discussed in more detail at the end of Chapter 2.) The survey shows a clear link between what people see as essential to their faith and their self-reported day-to-day behavior.Chapter 1 provides greater detail on how Americans from various religious backgrounds say they live their day-to-day lives.Chapter 2 examines the essentials of religious and moral identity – what do Christians see as “essential” to what it means to be a Christian, and what do members of non-Christian faiths and religious “nones” see as essential to being a moral person?When it comes to diet and exercise, highly religious Americans are no less likely to have overeaten in the past week, and they are no more likely to say they exercise regularly.Highly religious people also are no more likely than other Americans to recycle their household waste.