From the Worldwide Faith News archives www.wfn.org
Special Heartland Study Reveals Religious Shifting
04 May 1996 16:05:56
96047 Special Heartland Study Reveals Religious Shifting
by George H. Gallup Jr. and Robert Bezilla
Produced by New York Times Special Features
Distributed by United Methodist News Service
PRINCETON, N.J.--The Midwest has always mirrored national survey findings
on religion, and a recent study in central Ohio appears to reaffirm that
Beneath the surface of traditional beliefs and religious attitudes,
the survey reveals a region in which many people have intensified their
religious practice since childhood, and a pattern of denominational
switching that has led many away from the faith of their upbringing.
The study was conducted late last year by the Columbus Dispatch,
WBNS-TV and the Gallup Poll.
Most people in central Ohio mirror the beliefs of people throughout
their region and America -- nearly all believe in God and heaven and hell.
Many think there are angels and miracles, but fewer now believe in the
Six in 10 of the adults say religion is very important in their own
lives, a slightly higher percentage than the Midwestern and national
averages. Somewhat fewer people in central Ohio (52 percent) say religion
was very important in their family household when they were growing up.
For some in the area, religion may be a more private affair, with 62
percent claiming formal religious affiliation and 36 percent reporting
worship service attendance during the past week. Both figures are
significantly lower than the national and Midwestern averages.
Most people in central Ohio say they were baptized in their current
faith (85 percent). Overall, 64 percent state a Protestant denomination as
a preference, 21 percent are Roman Catholic and just 1 percent are Jewish.
This represents greater Protestant representation and a lower Roman
Catholic presence than is true for both region and nation.
About two Ohioans in three (69 percent) say their preference always
has been the same, but almost a third (31 percent) report they were raised
in another faith.
The discrepancy in figures between the 85 percent who say they were
baptized in their current faith and 69 percent who say their preference has
always been the same suggests that a good number either have received adult
baptism or have been re-baptized when switching faiths.
Four adults in 10 (41 percent) say they are born-again or evangelical
Christians, which is slightly above regional (37 percent) and national (39
percent) averages. Just 14 percent consider themselves members of the
religious right movement.
For more information contact Presbyterian News Service
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Louisville, KY 40202
phone 502-569-5504 fax 502-569-8073
E-mail PCUSA.NEWS@pcusa.org Web page: http://www.pcusa.org
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