Home      Discussion      Topics      Dictionary      Almanac
Signup       Login
Religion in the United States

Religion in the United States

Discussion
Ask a question about 'Religion in the United States'
Start a new discussion about 'Religion in the United States'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Encyclopedia
Religion in the United States is characterized by both a wide diversity in religious beliefs and practices, and by a high adherence level. According to recent surveys, 83 percent of Americans claim to belong to a religious denomination, 40 percent claim to attend services nearly every week or more, and 58 percent claim to pray at least weekly. A majority of Americans report that religion plays a "very important" role in their lives, a proportion unusual among developed nations. Many faiths have flourished in the United States, including both later imports spanning the country's multicultural
Multiculturalism
Multiculturalism is the appreciation, acceptance or promotion of multiple cultures, applied to the demographic make-up of a specific place, usually at the organizational level, e.g...

 immigrant heritage, as well as those founded within the country; these have led the United States to become one of the most religiously diverse countries in the world.

The majority of Americans (60% to 76%) identify themselves as Christians
Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

, mostly within Protestant
Protestantism
Protestantism is one of the three major groupings within Christianity. It is a movement that began in Germany in the early 16th century as a reaction against medieval Roman Catholic doctrines and practices, especially in regards to salvation, justification, and ecclesiology.The doctrines of the...

 and Catholic denominations, accounting for 51% and 25% of the population respectively. Non-Christian religions (including Judaism
Judaism
Judaism ) is the "religion, philosophy, and way of life" of the Jewish people...

, Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

, Buddhism
Buddhism
Buddhism is a religion and philosophy encompassing a variety of traditions, beliefs and practices, largely based on teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, commonly known as the Buddha . The Buddha lived and taught in the northeastern Indian subcontinent some time between the 6th and 4th...

, Hinduism
Hinduism
Hinduism is the predominant and indigenous religious tradition of the Indian Subcontinent. Hinduism is known to its followers as , amongst many other expressions...

 etc.), collectively make up about 3.9% to 5.5% of the adult population. Another 15% of the adult population identifies as having no religious belief or no religious affiliation
Irreligion
Irreligion is defined as an absence of religion or an indifference towards religion. Sometimes it may also be defined more narrowly as hostility towards religion. When characterized as hostility to religion, it includes antitheism, anticlericalism and antireligion. When characterized as...

. When asked, about 5.2% said they did not know, or refused to reply. According to the American Religious Identification Survey, religious belief varies considerably across the country: 59% of Americans living in Western states (the "Unchurched Belt
Unchurched Belt
Unchurched Belt refers to a region in the far Western United States that has low rates of religious participation. The term derives from Bible Belt and the notion of the unchurched....

") report a belief in God, yet in the South (the "Bible Belt
Bible Belt
Bible Belt is an informal term for a region in the southeastern and south-central United States in which socially conservative evangelical Protestantism is a significant part of the culture and Christian church attendance across the denominations is generally higher than the nation's average.The...

") the figure is as high as 86%.

However, despite this seemingly high level of religiosity, only 9% of Americans in a 2008 poll said religion was the most important thing in their life, compared with 45% who said family
Family
In human context, a family is a group of people affiliated by consanguinity, affinity, or co-residence. In most societies it is the principal institution for the socialization of children...

 was paramount in their life and 17% who said money
Money
Money is any object or record that is generally accepted as payment for goods and services and repayment of debts in a given country or socio-economic context. The main functions of money are distinguished as: a medium of exchange; a unit of account; a store of value; and, occasionally in the past,...

 and their career
Career
Career is defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as a person's "course or progress through life ". It is usually considered to pertain to remunerative work ....

 was paramount.

The First Amendment
First Amendment to the United States Constitution
The First Amendment to the United States Constitution is part of the Bill of Rights. The amendment prohibits the making of any law respecting an establishment of religion, impeding the free exercise of religion, abridging the freedom of speech, infringing on the freedom of the press, interfering...

 to the country's Constitution
United States Constitution
The Constitution of the United States is the supreme law of the United States of America. It is the framework for the organization of the United States government and for the relationship of the federal government with the states, citizens, and all people within the United States.The first three...

 prevents the Federal government from making any "law respecting an establishment of religion", and guarantees the free exercise
Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment
The Free Exercise Clause is the accompanying clause with the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. The Establishment Clause and the Free Exercise Clause together read:...

 of religion. The Supreme Court
Supreme Court of the United States
The Supreme Court of the United States is the highest court in the United States. It has ultimate appellate jurisdiction over all state and federal courts, and original jurisdiction over a small range of cases...

 has interpreted this as preventing the government from having any authority in religion
Religion
Religion is a collection of cultural systems, belief systems, and worldviews that establishes symbols that relate humanity to spirituality and, sometimes, to moral values. Many religions have narratives, symbols, traditions and sacred histories that are intended to give meaning to life or to...

.

History


From the early colonial days, when English and German settlers came in search of religious freedom, America has been profoundly influenced by religion. That influence continues in American culture, social life, and politics.

Several of the original Thirteen Colonies
Thirteen Colonies
The Thirteen Colonies were English and later British colonies established on the Atlantic coast of North America between 1607 and 1733. They declared their independence in the American Revolution and formed the United States of America...

 were established by settlers who wished to practice their own religion without discrimination: the Massachusetts Bay Colony was established by English Puritan
Puritan
The Puritans were a significant grouping of English Protestants in the 16th and 17th centuries. Puritanism in this sense was founded by some Marian exiles from the clergy shortly after the accession of Elizabeth I of England in 1558, as an activist movement within the Church of England...

s (Congregationalists), Pennsylvania by British Quakers
Religious Society of Friends
The Religious Society of Friends, or Friends Church, is a Christian movement which stresses the doctrine of the priesthood of all believers. Members are known as Friends, or popularly as Quakers. It is made of independent organisations, which have split from one another due to doctrinal differences...

, Maryland by English Catholics, and Virginia by English Anglicans.

Freedom of religion


Although some New England states continued to use tax money to fund local Congregational churches into the 1830s, the United States was the first nation to have no official state-endorsed religion.

Modeling the provisions concerning religion within the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom
Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom
The Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom was drafted in 1777 by Thomas Jefferson in the city of Fredericksburg, Virginia. In 1786, the Assembly enacted the statute into the state's law...

, the framers of the Constitution rejected any religious test for office, and the First Amendment specifically denied the federal government any power to enact any law respecting either an establishment of religion or prohibiting its free exercise, thus protecting any religious organization, institution, or denomination from government interference. The decision was mainly influenced by European Rationalist and Protestant ideals, but was also a consequence of the pragmatic concerns of minority religious groups and small states that did not want to be under the power or influence of a national religion that did not represent them.

Main religious preferences of Americans


The U.S. Census does not ask about religion. Various groups have conducted surveys to determine approximate percentages of those affiliated with each religious group. Some surveys ask people to self-identify, while others calculate church memberships. The first table below represents the ranges that have been found.
  • Christianity
    Christianity
    Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

    : (59.9% to 76.0%)
  • Unaffiliated
    Irreligion in the United States
    Encompassing agnosticism, atheism, deism, skepticism, freethought, secular humanism or general secularism and even some forms of alternative spirituality such as New Age, various polls have put the population of "non-religious" North Americans at between 20 and 35 million...

    , including atheist or agnostic (15.0% to 37.3%)
  • Judaism
    Judaism
    Judaism ) is the "religion, philosophy, and way of life" of the Jewish people...

     (1.2% to 2.2%)
  • Islam
    Islam
    Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

     (0.6%)
  • Buddhism
    Buddhism
    Buddhism is a religion and philosophy encompassing a variety of traditions, beliefs and practices, largely based on teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, commonly known as the Buddha . The Buddha lived and taught in the northeastern Indian subcontinent some time between the 6th and 4th...

     (0.5% to 0.9%)
  • Hinduism
    Hinduism
    Hinduism is the predominant and indigenous religious tradition of the Indian Subcontinent. Hinduism is known to its followers as , amongst many other expressions...

     (0.4%)
  • Other (1.2% to 1.4%)

style="font-size:100%" | Religious affiliation in the U.S.
Source:PewForum
Affiliation % of U.S.
population
Christian
Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

78.5%
Evangelical Protestant 26.3%
Catholic
Catholic
The word catholic comes from the Greek phrase , meaning "on the whole," "according to the whole" or "in general", and is a combination of the Greek words meaning "about" and meaning "whole"...

23.9%
Mainline Protestant 18.1%
Black church 6.9%
Mormon
Mormon
The term Mormon most commonly denotes an adherent, practitioner, follower, or constituent of Mormonism, which is the largest branch of the Latter Day Saint movement in restorationist Christianity...

1.7%
Jehovah's Witness 0.7%
Eastern Orthodox 0.6%
Other Christian
Christian
A Christian is a person who adheres to Christianity, an Abrahamic, monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as recorded in the Canonical gospels and the letters of the New Testament...

0.3%
Unaffiliated
Unaffiliated
Unaffiliated is a term used to refer to individuals who are not aligned with a particular religion.According to the Pew Research Center, this group includes atheists, agnostics, and people who describe their religion as "nothing in particular"....

16.1%
Nothing in particular 12.1%
Agnostic
Agnosticism
Agnosticism is the view that the truth value of certain claims—especially claims about the existence or non-existence of any deity, but also other religious and metaphysical claims—is unknown or unknowable....

2.4%
Atheist
Atheism
Atheism is, in a broad sense, the rejection of belief in the existence of deities. In a narrower sense, atheism is specifically the position that there are no deities...

1.6%
Non-Christian religions 4.6%
Jewish
Judaism
Judaism ) is the "religion, philosophy, and way of life" of the Jewish people...

1.7%
Buddhist
Buddhism
Buddhism is a religion and philosophy encompassing a variety of traditions, beliefs and practices, largely based on teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, commonly known as the Buddha . The Buddha lived and taught in the northeastern Indian subcontinent some time between the 6th and 4th...

0.7%
Muslim
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

0.6%
Hindu
Hinduism
Hinduism is the predominant and indigenous religious tradition of the Indian Subcontinent. Hinduism is known to its followers as , amongst many other expressions...

0.4%
Other 1.2%
Don't know/refused answer 0.8%


Christianity



The largest religion in the US is Christianity
Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

, practiced by the majority of the population (76% in 2008). From those queried, roughly 51.3% of Americans are Protestants, 25% are Catholics
Catholicism
Catholicism is a broad term for the body of the Catholic faith, its theologies and doctrines, its liturgical, ethical, spiritual, and behavioral characteristics, as well as a religious people as a whole....

, 1.7% are Mormon
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints membership statistics (United States)
This page shows membership statistics of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints within the United States.* Official LDS Membership - Membership count on record provided by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints...

 (the name commonly used to refer to members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints), and 1.7% of various other Christian
Christian
A Christian is a person who adheres to Christianity, an Abrahamic, monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as recorded in the Canonical gospels and the letters of the New Testament...

 denominations. Christianity was introduced during the period of European colonization
European colonization of the Americas
The start of the European colonization of the Americas is typically dated to 1492. The first Europeans to reach the Americas were the Vikings during the 11th century, who established several colonies in Greenland and one short-lived settlement in present day Newfoundland...

.

By the 2011 Yearbook of American and Canadian Churches
Yearbook of American and Canadian Churches
First published as the Federal Council Year Book in 1916, The Yearbook of American & Canadian Churches is a comprehensive descriptive and statistical listing of major religious bodies and other important religion-related organizations in the U.S. and Canada. The Yearbook contains descriptive...

, from which members in the United States are combined with Canadian members, and of the National Council of Churches
National Council of Churches
The National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA is an ecumenical partnership of 37 Christian faith groups in the United States. Its member denominations, churches, conventions, and archdioceses include Mainline Protestant, Orthodox, African American, Evangelical, and historic peace...

, the five largest denominations are:
  • The Catholic Church, 68,503,456 members
  • The Southern Baptist Convention
    Southern Baptist Convention
    The Southern Baptist Convention is a United States-based Christian denomination. It is the world's largest Baptist denomination and the largest Protestant body in the United States, with over 16 million members...

    , 16,160,088 members
  • The United Methodist Church
    United Methodist Church
    The United Methodist Church is a Methodist Christian denomination which is both mainline Protestant and evangelical. Founded in 1968 by the union of The Methodist Church and the Evangelical United Brethren Church, the UMC traces its roots back to the revival movement of John and Charles Wesley...

    , 7,774,931 members
  • The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 6,058,907 members
  • The Church of God in Christ
    Church of God in Christ
    The Church of God in Christ is a Pentecostal Holiness Christian denomination with a predominantly African-American membership. With nearly five million members in the United States and 12,000 congregations, it is the largest Pentecostal church and the fifth largest Christian church in the U.S....

    , 5,499,875 members


Due to its large population and history, the United States has numerically more Christians (and more Protestants) than any other country in the world. Other countries, however, have higher percentages of Christians
Christianity by country
As of the early 21st century, Christianity has around 2.1 billion adherents. The faith represents nearly one-third of the world's population and is the largest religion in the world, with approximately 38,000 Christian denominations. Christians have composed about 33 percent of the world's...

 (and of Protestants) within their total populations.

Northern European peoples introduced Protestantism
Protestantism
Protestantism is one of the three major groupings within Christianity. It is a movement that began in Germany in the early 16th century as a reaction against medieval Roman Catholic doctrines and practices, especially in regards to salvation, justification, and ecclesiology.The doctrines of the...

. Among Protestants, Anglicans
Anglicanism
Anglicanism is a tradition within Christianity comprising churches with historical connections to the Church of England or similar beliefs, worship and church structures. The word Anglican originates in ecclesia anglicana, a medieval Latin phrase dating to at least 1246 that means the English...

, Baptist
Baptist
Baptists comprise a group of Christian denominations and churches that subscribe to a doctrine that baptism should be performed only for professing believers , and that it must be done by immersion...

s, Puritans, Presbyterians
Presbyterianism
Presbyterianism refers to a number of Christian churches adhering to the Calvinist theological tradition within Protestantism, which are organized according to a characteristic Presbyterian polity. Presbyterian theology typically emphasizes the sovereignty of God, the authority of the Scriptures,...

, Lutherans
Lutheranism
Lutheranism is a major branch of Western Christianity that identifies with the theology of Martin Luther, a German reformer. Luther's efforts to reform the theology and practice of the church launched the Protestant Reformation...

, Quaker
Religious Society of Friends
The Religious Society of Friends, or Friends Church, is a Christian movement which stresses the doctrine of the priesthood of all believers. Members are known as Friends, or popularly as Quakers. It is made of independent organisations, which have split from one another due to doctrinal differences...

, and Moravians were the first to settle to the US, spreading their faith in the new country.

The Spanish, French and English introduced Catholicism. Many Catholics came with the Hispanics/Latinos
Hispanic and Latino Americans
Hispanic or Latino Americans are Americans with origins in the Hispanic countries of Latin America or in Spain, and in general all persons in the United States who self-identify as Hispanic or Latino.1990 Census of Population and Housing: A self-designated classification for people whose origins...

, Irish, Highland Scots, Italians
Italian American
An Italian American , is an American of Italian ancestry. The designation may also refer to someone possessing Italian and American dual citizenship...

, Dutch, Flemish, Polish
Polish American
A Polish American , is a citizen of the United States of Polish descent. There are an estimated 10 million Polish Americans, representing about 3.2% of the population of the United States...

, French
French American
French Americans or Franco-Americans are Americans of French or French Canadian descent. About 11.8 million U.S. residents are of this descent, and about 1.6 million speak French at home.An additional 450,000 U.S...

, Hungarians, German, and Lebanese immigrants.

Greek, Ukrainian, Russian, Central and Eastern European, Middle Eastern, Ethiopian, and South Indian immigrants brought Eastern Orthodoxy and Oriental Orthodoxy to the United States. These branches of Christianity have since spread beyond the boundaries of ethnic immigrant communities and now include multi-ethnic membership and parishes.


Since then, American Christians developed in their own path. During the Great Awakening
Great Awakening
The term Great Awakening is used to refer to a period of religious revival in American religious history. Historians and theologians identify three or four waves of increased religious enthusiasm occurring between the early 18th century and the late 19th century...

s interdenominational evangelicalism
Evangelicalism
Evangelicalism is a Protestant Christian movement which began in Great Britain in the 1730s and gained popularity in the United States during the series of Great Awakenings of the 18th and 19th century.Its key commitments are:...

 and Pentecostalism
Pentecostalism
Pentecostalism is a diverse and complex movement within Christianity that places special emphasis on a direct personal experience of God through the baptism in the Holy Spirit, has an eschatological focus, and is an experiential religion. The term Pentecostal is derived from Pentecost, the Greek...

 emerged, along with new Protestant denominations such as Adventism, and non-Protestant movements such as the Restoration Movement
Restoration Movement
The Restoration Movement is a Christian movement that began on the American frontier during the Second Great Awakening of the early 19th century...

 (which over time separated into the Churches of Christ, the Christian churches and churches of Christ, and the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
The Christian Church is a Mainline Protestant denomination in North America. It is often referred to as The Christian Church, The Disciples of Christ, or more simply as The Disciples...

), the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, commonly referred to as Jehovah's Witnesses
Jehovah's Witnesses
Jehovah's Witnesses is a millenarian restorationist Christian denomination with nontrinitarian beliefs distinct from mainstream Christianity. The religion reports worldwide membership of over 7 million adherents involved in evangelism, convention attendance of over 12 million, and annual...

, and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, also commonly referred to as Mormonism
Mormonism
Mormonism is the religion practiced by Mormons, and is the predominant religious tradition of the Latter Day Saint movement. This movement was founded by Joseph Smith, Jr. beginning in the 1820s as a form of Christian primitivism. During the 1830s and 1840s, Mormonism gradually distinguished itself...

.

Today, with 16.6 million adherents (5.3% of the total population), the Southern Baptist Convention is the largest of more than 200 distinctly named Protestant denominations. Of the total population, Evangelicals comprise 26.3%, and Mainline Protestants 16%.

The strength of various sects varies greatly in different regions of the country, with rural parts of the South (except Louisiana
Louisiana
Louisiana is a state located in the southern region of the United States of America. Its capital is Baton Rouge and largest city is New Orleans. Louisiana is the only state in the U.S. with political subdivisions termed parishes, which are local governments equivalent to counties...

 and the Gulf Coast, and the Hispanic
Hispanic
Hispanic is a term that originally denoted a relationship to Hispania, which is to say the Iberian Peninsula: Andorra, Gibraltar, Portugal and Spain. During the Modern Era, Hispanic sometimes takes on a more limited meaning, particularly in the United States, where the term means a person of ...

 community, which both consist mainly of Catholics), having many evangelicals but very few Catholics, while urbanized areas of the north Atlantic states and Great Lakes
Great Lakes
The Great Lakes are a collection of freshwater lakes located in northeastern North America, on the Canada – United States border. Consisting of Lakes Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie, and Ontario, they form the largest group of freshwater lakes on Earth by total surface, coming in second by volume...

, as well as many industrial and mining towns, are heavily Catholic, though still quite mixed, especially due to the heavily Protestant African-American communities. As of 1990, nearly 72% of the population of Utah was Mormon, as well as 26% of neighboring Idaho. Lutheranism is most prominent in the Upper Midwest
Upper Midwest
The Upper Midwest is a region in the northern portion of the U.S. Census Bureau's Midwestern United States. It is largely a sub-region of the midwest. Although there are no uniformly agreed-upon boundaries, the region is most commonly used to refer to the states of Minnesota, Wisconsin, and...

, with North Dakota having the highest percentage, 35% according to a 2001 survey.

Despite its status as the most widespread and influential religion in the US, Christianity is undergoing a continuous relative decline in demographics. While the absolute number of Christians rose from 1990 to 2008 as the overall population increased, the actual percentage of Christians dropped from 86.2% to 76.0%. A nationwide telephone interview of 1,002 adults conducted by The Barna Group
The Barna Group
The Barna Group is an evangelical Christian polling firm based in Ventura, California.-Overview:It consists of five divisions focusing on primary research ; communications tools ; printed resources ; leadership development for young people ; and church facilitation and enhancement...

 found that 70% of American adults believe that God is "the all-powerful, all-knowing creator of the universe who still rules it today", and that 9% of all American adults and 0.5% young adults hold to what the survey defined as a "biblical worldview."

No religion / Unaffiliated



A 2001 survey directed by Dr. Ariela Keysar for the City University of New York indicated that, amongst the more than 100 categories of response, "no religious identification" had the greatest increase in population in both absolute and percentage terms. This category included atheists, agnostics, humanist
Humanism
Humanism is an approach in study, philosophy, world view or practice that focuses on human values and concerns. In philosophy and social science, humanism is a perspective which affirms some notion of human nature, and is contrasted with anti-humanism....

s, and others with no theistic religious beliefs or practices. Figures are up from 14.3 million in 1990 to 34.2 million in 2008, representing a proportionate increase from 8% of the total in 1990 to 15% in 2008. Another nation-wide study puts the figure of unaffiliated persons at 16.1%.

In a 2006 nationwide poll, University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota
The University of Minnesota, Twin Cities is a public research university located in Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota, United States. It is the oldest and largest part of the University of Minnesota system and has the fourth-largest main campus student body in the United States, with 52,557...

 researchers found that despite an increasing acceptance of religious diversity, atheists were generally distrusted by other Americans, who rated them below Muslims, recent immigrants and other minority groups in "sharing their vision of American society". They also associated atheists with undesirable attributes such as criminal behavior, rampant materialism, and cultural elitism. However, the same study also reported that "The researchers also found acceptance or rejection of atheists is related not only to personal religiosity, but also to one's exposure to diversity, education and political orientation--with more educated, East and West Coast Americans more accepting of atheists than their Midwestern counterparts."

Judaism



After Christianity and no-religion, Judaism is the third-largest religious affiliation in the US, though this identification is not necessarily indicative of religious beliefs or practices. A significant number of people identify themselves as American Jews
American Jews
American Jews, also known as Jewish Americans, are American citizens of the Jewish faith or Jewish ethnicity. The Jewish community in the United States is composed predominantly of Ashkenazi Jews who emigrated from Central and Eastern Europe, and their U.S.-born descendants...

 on ethnic and cultural grounds, rather than religious ones. For example, 19% of self-identified American Jews believe God does not exist. The 2001 ARIS study projected from its sample that there are about 5.3 million adults in the American Jewish population: 2.83 million adults (1.4% of the U.S. adult population) are estimated to be adherents of Judaism; 1.08 million are estimated to be adherents of no religion; and 1.36 million are estimated to be adherents of a religion other than Judaism. ARIS 2008 estimated about 2.68 million people (1.2%) in the country identify Judaism as their faith.

Jews have been present in what is now the US since the 17th century, though large scale immigration did not take place until the 19th century, largely as a result of persecutions in parts of Eastern Europe
Eastern Europe
Eastern Europe is the eastern part of Europe. The term has widely disparate geopolitical, geographical, cultural and socioeconomic readings, which makes it highly context-dependent and even volatile, and there are "almost as many definitions of Eastern Europe as there are scholars of the region"...

. The CIA Fact Book estimates about 2% of Americans belong to this group. Approximately 25% of this population lives in New York City.

A 2009 study estimated the Jewish population (including those who define themselves as Jewish by religion as well as those who define themselves as Jewish in cultural or ethnic terms) to be between 6.0 and 6.4 million. According to a study done in 2000 there were an estimated 6,141,325 Jewish people in the country, about 2% of the population. According to the 2001 National Jewish Population Survey
National Jewish Population Survey
The National Jewish Population Survey , most recently performed in 2000-01, is a representative survey of the Jewish population in the United States sponsored by United Jewish Communities and the Jewish Federation system....

, 4.3 million American Jewish adults have some sort of strong connection to the Jewish community, whether religious or cultural. Jewishness is generally considered an ethnic identity as well as a religious one. Among the 4.3 million American Jews described as "strongly connected" to Judaism, over 80% have some sort of active engagement with Judaism, ranging from attendance at daily prayer services on one end of the spectrum to attending Passover Seder
Passover Seder
The Passover Seder is a Jewish ritual feast that marks the beginning of the Jewish holiday of Passover. It is conducted on the evenings of the 14th day of Nisan in the Hebrew calendar, and on the 15th by traditionally observant Jews living outside Israel. This corresponds to late March or April in...

s or lighting Hanukkah
Hanukkah
Hanukkah , also known as the Festival of Lights, is an eight-day Jewish holiday commemorating the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem at the time of the Maccabean Revolt of the 2nd century BCE...

 candles on the other. The survey also discovered that Jews in the Northeast
Northeastern United States
The Northeastern United States is a region of the United States as defined by the United States Census Bureau.-Composition:The region comprises nine states: the New England states of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont; and the Mid-Atlantic states of New...

 and Midwest are generally more observant than Jews in the South
South
South is a noun, adjective, or adverb indicating direction or geography.South is one of the four cardinal directions or compass points. It is the opposite of north and is perpendicular to east and west.By convention, the bottom side of a map is south....

 or West
West
West is a noun, adjective, or adverb indicating direction or geography.West is one of the four cardinal directions or compass points. It is the opposite of east and is perpendicular to north and south.By convention, the left side of a map is west....

. Reflecting a trend also observed among other religious groups, Jews in the Northwestern United States are typically the least observant.

In recent years, there has been a noticeable trend among previously secular American Jews, called baalei teshuva
Baal teshuva movement
The Baal Teshuva movement is description of the return of secular Jews to religious Judaism. The term "baal teshuva" is a term from the Talmud literally meaning "master of repentance". The term is used to refer to a worldwide phenomenon among the Jewish people...

("returners", see also Repentance in Judaism
Repentance in Judaism
Repentance in Judaism known as teshuva , is the way of atoning for sin in Judaism.According to Gates of Repentance, a standard work of Jewish ethics written by Rabbenu Yonah of Gerona, if someone commits a sin, a forbidden act, he can be forgiven for that sin if he performs teshuva, which...

), returning to a more religious, in most cases, Orthodox, style of observance. It is uncertain how widespread or demographically important this movement is at present.

The Jewish community in the United States is composed predominantly of Ashkenazi Jews
Ashkenazi Jews
Ashkenazi Jews, also known as Ashkenazic Jews or Ashkenazim , are the Jews descended from the medieval Jewish communities along the Rhine in Germany from Alsace in the south to the Rhineland in the north. Ashkenaz is the medieval Hebrew name for this region and thus for Germany...

 who emigrated from Central
Central Europe
Central Europe or alternatively Middle Europe is a region of the European continent lying between the variously defined areas of Eastern and Western Europe...

 and Eastern Europe
Eastern Europe
Eastern Europe is the eastern part of Europe. The term has widely disparate geopolitical, geographical, cultural and socioeconomic readings, which makes it highly context-dependent and even volatile, and there are "almost as many definitions of Eastern Europe as there are scholars of the region"...

, and their US-born descendants. There are, however, small numbers of older (and some recently arrived) communities of Sephardi Jews
Sephardi Jews
Sephardi Jews is a general term referring to the descendants of the Jews who lived in the Iberian Peninsula before their expulsion in the Spanish Inquisition. It can also refer to those who use a Sephardic style of liturgy or would otherwise define themselves in terms of the Jewish customs and...

 with roots tracing back to 15th century Iberia
Iberian Peninsula
The Iberian Peninsula , sometimes called Iberia, is located in the extreme southwest of Europe and includes the modern-day sovereign states of Spain, Portugal and Andorra, as well as the British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar...

 (Spain, Portugal, and North Africa).

There are Mizrahi Jews
Mizrahi Jews
Mizrahi Jews or Mizrahiyim, , also referred to as Adot HaMizrach are Jews descended from the Jewish communities of the Middle East, North Africa and the Caucasus...

 (from the Middle East, Caucasia
Caucasus
The Caucasus, also Caucas or Caucasia , is a geopolitical region at the border of Europe and Asia, and situated between the Black and the Caspian sea...

 and Central Asia
Central Asia
Central Asia is a core region of the Asian continent from the Caspian Sea in the west, China in the east, Afghanistan in the south, and Russia in the north...

), as well as much smaller numbers of Ethiopian Jews, Indian Jews
Indian Jews
The history of the Jews in India reaches back to ancient times.Indian Jews are a religious minority of India. Judaism was one of the first foreign religions to arrive in India in recorded history. The better-established ancient communities have assimilated a large number of local traditions through...

, Kaifeng Jews
Kaifeng Jews
The Kaifeng Jews are members of a small Jewish community that has existed in Kaifeng, in the Henan province of China, for hundreds of years. Jews in modern China have traditionally called themselves Youtai in Mandarin Chinese which is also the predominant contemporary Chinese language term for...

 and others from various smaller Jewish ethnic divisions
Jewish ethnic divisions
Jewish ethnic divisions refers to a number of distinct communities within the world's ethnically Jewish population. Although considered one single self-identifying ethnicity, there are distinct ethnic divisions among Jews, most of which are primarily the result of geographic branching from an...

.

Out of American Jews Orthodox make 33%, Conservative make 32%, Reform make 28%, Reconstructionist make 3%, and other make 4%.

Islam




American Islam effectively began with the arrival of African slaves. It is estimated that about 10% of African slaves transported to the United States were Muslim. Most, however, became Christians, and significant Muslim numbers awaited the arrival of immigrant populations from Arabic and East Asian Muslim areas. Islam gained a higher profile through the Nation of Islam
Nation of Islam
The Nation of Islam is a mainly African-American new religious movement founded in Detroit, Michigan by Wallace D. Fard Muhammad in July 1930 to improve the spiritual, mental, social, and economic condition of African-Americans in the United States of America. The movement teaches black pride and...

, a religious group that appealed to black Americans after the 1940s; its prominent converts included Malcolm X
Malcolm X
Malcolm X , born Malcolm Little and also known as El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz , was an African American Muslim minister and human rights activist. To his admirers he was a courageous advocate for the rights of African Americans, a man who indicted white America in the harshest terms for its...

 and Muhammad Ali
Muhammad Ali
Muhammad Ali is an American former professional boxer, philanthropist and social activist...

. The first Muslim elected in Congress was Keith Ellison
Keith Ellison (politician)
Keith Maurice Ellison is the U.S. Representative for , serving since 2007. He is a member of the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party. The district centers on Minneapolis. He was re-elected in 2010. Ellison is a co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.He is the first Muslim to be elected to the...

 in 2006, followed by Andre Carson
André Carson
André D. Carson is the U.S. Representative for , serving since the special election in 2008. He is a member of the Democratic Party....

 in 2008.
Research indicates that Muslims in the US are generally more assimilated and prosperous than Muslims in Europe. Surveys also suggest, however, that they are less assimilated than other American subcultural and religious communities, especially after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Like other subcultural and religious communities, the Islamic community has generated its own political organizations and charity organizations.

Buddhism



Buddhism
Buddhism
Buddhism is a religion and philosophy encompassing a variety of traditions, beliefs and practices, largely based on teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, commonly known as the Buddha . The Buddha lived and taught in the northeastern Indian subcontinent some time between the 6th and 4th...

 entered the US during the 19th century with the arrival of the first immigrants from Eastern Asia. The first Buddhist temple was established in San Francisco in 1853 by Chinese Americans.

During the late 19th century Buddhist missionaries from Japan came to the US. Simultaneously to these processes, US intellectuals started to take interest in Buddhism.

The first prominent US citizen to publicly convert to Buddhism
Buddhism
Buddhism is a religion and philosophy encompassing a variety of traditions, beliefs and practices, largely based on teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, commonly known as the Buddha . The Buddha lived and taught in the northeastern Indian subcontinent some time between the 6th and 4th...

 was Henry Steel Olcott
Henry Steel Olcott
Colonel Henry Steel Olcott was an American military officer, journalist, lawyer and the co-founder and first President of the Theosophical Society....

. An event that contributed to strengthen Buddhism in the US was the Parliament of the World's Religions
Parliament of the World's Religions
There have been several meetings referred to as a Parliament of the World’s Religions, most notably the World's Parliament of Religions of 1893, the first attempt to create a global dialogue of faiths. The event was celebrated by another conference on its centenary in 1993...

 in 1893, which was attended by many Buddhist delegates sent from India, China, Japan, Thailand
Thailand
Thailand , officially the Kingdom of Thailand , formerly known as Siam , is a country located at the centre of the Indochina peninsula and Southeast Asia. It is bordered to the north by Burma and Laos, to the east by Laos and Cambodia, to the south by the Gulf of Thailand and Malaysia, and to the...

 and Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka, officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka is a country off the southern coast of the Indian subcontinent. Known until 1972 as Ceylon , Sri Lanka is an island surrounded by the Indian Ocean, the Gulf of Mannar and the Palk Strait, and lies in the vicinity of India and the...

.

The early 20th century was characterized by a continuation of the tendencies with roots in the 19th century. The second half, by contrast, saw the emergence of new approaches, and the move of Buddhism into the mainstream making itself a mass and social religious phenomenon.

Many foreign associations and teachers—such as Soka Gakkai and Tenzin Gyatso the 14th Dalai Lama
Dalai Lama
The Dalai Lama is a high lama in the Gelug or "Yellow Hat" branch of Tibetan Buddhism. The name is a combination of the Mongolian word далай meaning "Ocean" and the Tibetan word bla-ma meaning "teacher"...

(for Tibetan Buddhism
Tibetan Buddhism
Tibetan Buddhism is the body of Buddhist religious doctrine and institutions characteristic of Tibet and certain regions of the Himalayas, including northern Nepal, Bhutan, and India . It is the state religion of Bhutan...

)—started to organize missionary activities, while US converts established the first Western-based Buddhist institutions, temples and worship groups.

Estimates of the number of Buddhists in the United States vary between 0.5% and 0.9%, with 0.7% reported by both the CIA and PEW.

Hinduism



The first time Hinduism
Hinduism
Hinduism is the predominant and indigenous religious tradition of the Indian Subcontinent. Hinduism is known to its followers as , amongst many other expressions...

 entered the US is not clearly identifiable. However, large groups of Hindus have immigrated from India and other Asian countries since the enactment of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965. During the 1960s and 1970s Hinduism exercised fascination contributing to the development of New Age
New Age
The New Age movement is a Western spiritual movement that developed in the second half of the 20th century. Its central precepts have been described as "drawing on both Eastern and Western spiritual and metaphysical traditions and then infusing them with influences from self-help and motivational...

 thought. During the same decades the International Society for Krishna Consciousness
International Society for Krishna Consciousness
The International Society for Krishna Consciousness , known colloquially as the Hare Krishna movement, is a Gaudiya Vaishnava religious organization. It was founded in 1966 in New York City by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada...

 (a Vaishnavite Hindu reform organization) was founded in the US.

According to recent surveys, estimates for Hindus in the US suggest they number nearly 800 thousand people or about 0.4% of the total population.

In 2004 the Hindu American Foundation
Hindu American Foundation
The Hindu American Foundation is an American Hindu human rights group advocating on behalf of the Hindu community in the United States. Dr...

—a national institution protecting rights the Hindu community of US—was founded.

Baha'i Faith



The United States has perhaps the second largest Bahá'í community. It was established in 1894 by Ibrahim Kheiralla, a Syrian Bahá'í immigrant who later left the main group and founded a rival movement.

Sikhism



Sikhs have been a part of the American populace for more than 130 years. Around 1900, the state of Punjab
Punjab (British India)
Punjab was a province of British India, it was one of the last areas of the Indian subcontinent to fall under British rule. With the end of British rule in 1947 the province was split between West Punjab, which went to Pakistan, and East Punjab, which went to India...

 of British India was hit hard by British practices of mercantilism
Mercantilism
Mercantilism is the economic doctrine in which government control of foreign trade is of paramount importance for ensuring the prosperity and security of the state. In particular, it demands a positive balance of trade. Mercantilism dominated Western European economic policy and discourse from...

. Many Sikhs emigrated to the United States, and began arriving to work on farms in California. They traveled via Hong Kong
Hong Kong
Hong Kong is one of two Special Administrative Regions of the People's Republic of China , the other being Macau. A city-state situated on China's south coast and enclosed by the Pearl River Delta and South China Sea, it is renowned for its expansive skyline and deep natural harbour...

 to Angel Island, California
Angel Island, California
Angel Island is an island in San Francisco Bay that offers expansive views of the San Francisco skyline, the Marin County Headlands and Mount Tamalpais. The entire island is included within Angel Island State Park, and is administered by California State Parks. It has been used for a variety of...

, the western counterpart to Ellis Island
Ellis Island
Ellis Island in New York Harbor was the gateway for millions of immigrants to the United States. It was the nation's busiest immigrant inspection station from 1892 until 1954. The island was greatly expanded with landfill between 1892 and 1934. Before that, the much smaller original island was the...

 in New York.

"The first Sikh Gurdwara
Gurdwara
A Gurdwara , meaning the Gateway to the Guru, is the place of worship for Sikhs, the followers of Sikhism. A Gurdwara can be identified from a distance by tall flagpoles bearing the Nishan Sahib ....

 was built in Stockton, California
Stockton, California
Stockton, California, the seat of San Joaquin County, is the fourth-largest city in the Central Valley of the U.S. state of California. With a population of 291,707 at the 2010 census, Stockton ranks as this state's 13th largest city...

; the Gurdwara was created in 1912 with joint efforts of Sardar Vasakha Singh and Bhai Jawala Singh. A Nishan Sahib was also hoisted for the first time at the Gurdwara. Baba Vasakha Singh and Baba Jawala Singh Thathian of Amritsar Sahib were appointed as the first Granthi Singh Jis of the Gurdwara."

New Thought Movement


A group of churches which started in the 1830s in the United States is known under the banner of "New Thought
New Thought
New Thought promotes the ideas that "Infinite Intelligence" or "God" is ubiquitous, spirit is the totality of real things, true human selfhood is divine, divine thought is a force for good, sickness originates in the mind, and "right thinking" has a healing effect.Although New Thought is neither...

". These churches share a spiritual
Spirituality
Spirituality can refer to an ultimate or an alleged immaterial reality; an inner path enabling a person to discover the essence of his/her being; or the “deepest values and meanings by which people live.” Spiritual practices, including meditation, prayer and contemplation, are intended to develop...

, metaphysical
Metaphysics
Metaphysics is a branch of philosophy concerned with explaining the fundamental nature of being and the world, although the term is not easily defined. Traditionally, metaphysics attempts to answer two basic questions in the broadest possible terms:...

 and mystical
Mysticism
Mysticism is the knowledge of, and especially the personal experience of, states of consciousness, i.e. levels of being, beyond normal human perception, including experience and even communion with a supreme being.-Classical origins:...

 predisposition and understanding of the Bible
Bible
The Bible refers to any one of the collections of the primary religious texts of Judaism and Christianity. There is no common version of the Bible, as the individual books , their contents and their order vary among denominations...

 and were strongly influenced by the Transcendentalist movement particularly the work of Emerson
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Ralph Waldo Emerson was an American essayist, lecturer, and poet, who led the Transcendentalist movement of the mid-19th century...

. Another antecedent of this movement was Swedenborgianism, founded on the writings of Emanuel Swedenborg
Emanuel Swedenborg
was a Swedish scientist, philosopher, and theologian. He has been termed a Christian mystic by some sources, including the Encyclopædia Britannica online version, and the Encyclopedia of Religion , which starts its article with the description that he was a "Swedish scientist and mystic." Others...

 in 1787. The New Thought concept was named by Emma Curtis Hopkins
Emma Curtis Hopkins
Emma Curtis Hopkins organized New Thought and was a primary theologian, teacher, writer, feminist, mystic and prophet who ordained women at what she named the Christian Science Theological Seminary of Chicago...

 ("teacher of teachers") after Hopkins broke off from Mary Baker Eddy
Mary Baker Eddy
Mary Baker Eddy was the founder of Christian Science , a Protestant American system of religious thought and practice religion adopted by the Church of Christ, Scientist, and others...

's Church of Christ, Scientist
Church of Christ, Scientist
The Church of Christ, Scientist was founded in 1879 in Boston, Massachusetts, USA, by Mary Baker Eddy. She was the author of the book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. Christian Science teaches that the "allness" of God denies the reality of sin, sickness, death, and the material world...

 the movement had been previously known as the Mental Sciences and or The Christian Sciences. The New Thought movement includes Divine Science
Divine Science
The Church of Divine Science is a religious movement within the wider New Thought movement. The group was founded originally in San Francisco in the 1880s under Malinda Cramer...

, founded by Malinda Cramer
Malinda Cramer
Malinda Elliott Cramer was a founder of the Church of Divine Science, a healer, and an important figure in the early New Thought movement.- Biography :...

 and the Brook sisters
Nona L. Brooks
Nona Lovell Brooks , described as a "prophet of modern mystical Christianity", was a leader in the New Thought movement and a founder of the Church of Divine Science.- Biography :...

; Religious Science
Religious Science
Religious Science, also known as Science of Mind, was established in 1927 by Ernest Holmes and is a spiritual, philosophical and metaphysical religious movement within the New Thought movement. In general, the term "Science of Mind" applies to the teachings, while the term "Religious Science"...

 founded by Ernest Holmes
Ernest Holmes
Ernest Shurtleff Holmes was an American writer and spiritual teacher. He was the founder of a Spiritual movement known as Religious Science, a part of the greater New Thought movement, whose spiritual philosophy is known as "The Science of Mind." He was the author of The Science of Mind and...

 and Unity
Unity Church
Unity, known informally as Unity Church, is a religious movement within the wider New Thought movement and is best known to many through its Daily Word devotional publication...

 founded by Charles Fillmore
Charles Fillmore (Unity Church)
Charles Sherlock Fillmore , born in St. Cloud, Minnesota, founded Unity, a church within the New Thought movement, with his wife, Myrtle Page Fillmore, in 1889...

 and Myrtle Fillmore
Myrtle Fillmore
Mary Caroline "Myrtle" Page Fillmore was co-founder of Unity, a church within the New Thought movement, along with her husband Charles Fillmore. Prior to that time, she worked as a schoolteacher....

. The founders of these denominations all studied with Emma Curts Hopkins. Each of one these New Thought
New Thought
New Thought promotes the ideas that "Infinite Intelligence" or "God" is ubiquitous, spirit is the totality of real things, true human selfhood is divine, divine thought is a force for good, sickness originates in the mind, and "right thinking" has a healing effect.Although New Thought is neither...

 Churches has been influenced by a wide variety of ancient spiritual ideas. Each of these churches identify to different degrees with Christianity, Unity and Divine Science being the most explicit in the use of the Bible. Unity and Religious Science each have over 900 centers each in the United States alone; Divine Science, the smallest of the three, is now experiencing a renewed growth.

Others


Many other religions are represented in the United States, including Jainism
Jainism in the United States
Adherents of Jainism first arrived in the United States in the 20th century. The most significant time of Jain immigration was in the early 1970s. The United States has since become a center of the Jain Diaspora.-History:...

, Shinto
Shinto
or Shintoism, also kami-no-michi, is the indigenous spirituality of Japan and the Japanese people. It is a set of practices, to be carried out diligently, to establish a connection between present day Japan and its ancient past. Shinto practices were first recorded and codified in the written...

, Taoism
Taoism
Taoism refers to a philosophical or religious tradition in which the basic concept is to establish harmony with the Tao , which is the mechanism of everything that exists...

, Caodaism, Thelema
Thelema
Thelema is a religious philosophy that was established, defined and developed by the early 20th century British writer and ceremonial magician, Aleister Crowley. He believed himself to be the prophet of a new age, the Æon of Horus, based upon a religious experience that he had in Egypt in 1904...

, Wicca
Wicca
Wicca , is a modern Pagan religious movement. Developing in England in the first half of the 20th century, Wicca was popularised in the 1950s and early 1960s by a Wiccan High Priest named Gerald Gardner, who at the time called it the "witch cult" and "witchcraft," and its adherents "the Wica."...

, Santería
Santería
Santería is a syncretic religion of West African and Caribbean origin influenced by Roman Catholic Christianity, also known as Regla de Ocha, La Regla Lucumi, or Lukumi. Its liturgical language, a dialect of Yoruba, is also known as Lucumi....

, Rastafari movement
Rastafari movement
The Rastafari movement or Rasta is a new religious movement that arose in the 1930s in Jamaica, which at the time was a country with a predominantly Christian culture where 98% of the people were the black descendants of slaves. Its adherents worship Haile Selassie I, Emperor of Ethiopia , as God...

, Heathenism
Germanic Neopaganism
Germanic neopaganism is the contemporary revival of historical Germanic paganism. Precursor movements appeared in the early 20th century in Germany and Austria. A second wave of revival began in the early 1970s...

, Kemetism, Paganacht
Celtic Reconstructionist Paganism
Celtic Reconstructionist Paganism is a polytheistic, animistic, religious and cultural movement...

, Hellenism, Asatru
Germanic Neopaganism
Germanic neopaganism is the contemporary revival of historical Germanic paganism. Precursor movements appeared in the early 20th century in Germany and Austria. A second wave of revival began in the early 1970s...

, Theodism
Germanic Neopaganism
Germanic neopaganism is the contemporary revival of historical Germanic paganism. Precursor movements appeared in the early 20th century in Germany and Austria. A second wave of revival began in the early 1970s...

, Odinism
Germanic Neopaganism
Germanic neopaganism is the contemporary revival of historical Germanic paganism. Precursor movements appeared in the early 20th century in Germany and Austria. A second wave of revival began in the early 1970s...

, Religio Romana
Roman polytheistic reconstructionism
Roman polytheistic reconstructionism, also known as Cultus Deorum Romanorum , Religio Romana or Romano-Italic Tradition, is the contemporary movement which reconstructs or revives the traditional Roman and Italic religious cults.-Practices:Roman polytheistic reconstructionism is a revived...

, Druidry
Neo-Druidism
Neo-Druidism or Neo-Druidry, commonly referred to as Druidism or Druidry by its adherents, is a form of modern spirituality or religion that generally promotes harmony and worship of nature, and respect for all beings, including the environment...

, Zoroastrianism
Zoroastrianism
Zoroastrianism is a religion and philosophy based on the teachings of prophet Zoroaster and was formerly among the world's largest religions. It was probably founded some time before the 6th century BCE in Greater Iran.In Zoroastrianism, the Creator Ahura Mazda is all good, and no evil...

, Jediism
Jediism
Jediism is a religious movement based on the philosophical and spiritual ideas of the Jedi as depicted in Star Wars media.-Belief:Practitioners identify themselves with the Jedi Knights in Star Wars, believe in the existence of the Force and that interaction with the Force is possible. Believers...

 and many forms of New Age
New Age
The New Age movement is a Western spiritual movement that developed in the second half of the 20th century. Its central precepts have been described as "drawing on both Eastern and Western spiritual and metaphysical traditions and then infusing them with influences from self-help and motivational...

 spirituality.

Major denominations and sects founded in the U.S.

  • Polish National Catholic Church
    Polish National Catholic Church
    The Polish National Catholic Church is a Christian church founded and based in the United States by Polish-Americans who were Roman Catholic. The PNCC is a breakaway Catholic Church in dialogue with the Catholic Church; it seeks full communion with the Holy See although it differs theologically...

     – broke from Rome in 1897
  • Churches of Christ/Disciples of Christ – a restoration movement with no governing body. The Restoration Movement
    Restoration Movement
    The Restoration Movement is a Christian movement that began on the American frontier during the Second Great Awakening of the early 19th century...

     solidified as a historical phenomenon in 1832 when restorationists from two major movements championed by Barton W. Stone
    Barton W. Stone
    Barton Warren Stone was an important preacher during the Second Great Awakening of the early 19th century. He was first ordained a Presbyterian minister, then was expelled from the church after the Cane Ridge, Kentucky revival for his stated beliefs in faith as the sole prerequisite for salvation...

     and Alexander Campbell merged.
  • Pentecostalism
    Pentecostalism
    Pentecostalism is a diverse and complex movement within Christianity that places special emphasis on a direct personal experience of God through the baptism in the Holy Spirit, has an eschatological focus, and is an experiential religion. The term Pentecostal is derived from Pentecost, the Greek...

     – movement which emphasizes the role of the Holy Spirit
    Holy Spirit
    Holy Spirit is a term introduced in English translations of the Hebrew Bible, but understood differently in the main Abrahamic religions.While the general concept of a "Spirit" that permeates the cosmos has been used in various religions Holy Spirit is a term introduced in English translations of...

    , finds its historic roots in the Azusa Street Revival
    Azusa Street Revival
    The Azusa Street Revival was a historic Pentecostal revival meeting that took place in Los Angeles, California and is the origin of the Pentecostal movement. It was led by William J. Seymour, an African American preacher. It began with a meeting on April 14, 1906, and continued until roughly 1915...

     in Los Angeles, California, from 1904 to 1906, sparked by Charles Parham
  • Adventism – began as an inter-denominational movement. Its most vocal leader was William Miller
    William Miller (preacher)
    William Miller was an American Baptist preacher who is credited with beginning the mid-nineteenth century North American religious movement now known as Adventism. Among his direct spiritual heirs are several major religious denominations, including Seventh-day Adventists and Advent Christians...

    , who in the 1830s in New York
    New York
    New York is a state in the Northeastern region of the United States. It is the nation's third most populous state. New York is bordered by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south, and by Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont to the east...

     became convinced of an imminent Second Coming
    Second Coming
    In Christian doctrine, the Second Coming of Christ, the Second Advent, or the Parousia, is the anticipated return of Jesus Christ from Heaven, where he sits at the Right Hand of God, to Earth. This prophecy is found in the canonical gospels and in most Christian and Islamic eschatologies...

     of Jesus. The most prominent modern group to emerge from this is the Seventh Day Adventists.
  • Nation of Islam
    Nation of Islam
    The Nation of Islam is a mainly African-American new religious movement founded in Detroit, Michigan by Wallace D. Fard Muhammad in July 1930 to improve the spiritual, mental, social, and economic condition of African-Americans in the United States of America. The movement teaches black pride and...

     – A sect of Islam, created and followed solely by African-Americans; redefined "Allah" as someone "who came in the person of W. D. Fard."
  • The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) – founded by Joseph Smith, Jr. in 1830 in the Burned Over District of upstate New York. Now headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah
    Salt Lake City, Utah
    Salt Lake City is the capital and the most populous city of the U.S. state of Utah. The name of the city is often shortened to Salt Lake or SLC. With a population of 186,440 as of the 2010 Census, the city lies in the Salt Lake City metropolitan area, which has a total population of 1,124,197...

    .
  • Jehovah's Witnesses
    Jehovah's Witnesses
    Jehovah's Witnesses is a millenarian restorationist Christian denomination with nontrinitarian beliefs distinct from mainstream Christianity. The religion reports worldwide membership of over 7 million adherents involved in evangelism, convention attendance of over 12 million, and annual...

     – originated with the religious movement known as Bible Students
    Bible Student movement
    The Bible Student movement is the name adopted by a Millennialist Restorationist Christian movement that emerged from the teachings and ministry of Charles Taze Russell, also known as Pastor Russell...

    , which was founded in Pennsylvania in the late 1870s by Charles Taze Russell
    Charles Taze Russell
    Charles Taze Russell , or Pastor Russell, was a prominent early 20th century Christian restorationist minister from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA, and founder of what is now known as the Bible Student movement, from which Jehovah's Witnesses and numerous independent Bible Student groups emerged...

    . Loosely connected in its early years with Adventism, with which it shares some similarities.
  • Scientology
    Scientology in the United States
    Scientology was founded in the United States by science fiction author L. Ron Hubbard and is now practiced in many other countries.-History:...

     – founded by L. Ron Hubbard
    L. Ron Hubbard
    Lafayette Ronald Hubbard , better known as L. Ron Hubbard , was an American pulp fiction author and religious leader who founded the Church of Scientology...

  • Christian Science
    Christian Science
    Christian Science is a system of thought and practice derived from the writings of Mary Baker Eddy and the Bible. It is practiced by members of The First Church of Christ, Scientist as well as some others who are nonmembers. Its central texts are the Bible and the Christian Science textbook,...

     – founded by Mary Baker Eddy
    Mary Baker Eddy
    Mary Baker Eddy was the founder of Christian Science , a Protestant American system of religious thought and practice religion adopted by the Church of Christ, Scientist, and others...

  • Reconstructionist Judaism
    Reconstructionist Judaism
    Reconstructionist Judaism is a modern American-based Jewish movement based on the ideas of Mordecai Kaplan . The movement views Judaism as a progressively evolving civilization. It originated as a branch of Conservative Judaism, before it splintered...

     – founded by Mordecai Kaplan
  • Native American Church
    Native American Church
    Native American Church, a religious denomination which practices Peyotism or the Peyote religion, originated in the U.S. state of Oklahoma, and is the most widespread indigenous religion among Native Americans in the United States...

     – founded by Quanah Parker
    Quanah Parker
    Quanah Parker was a Comanche chief, a leader in the Native American Church, and the last leader of the powerful Quahadi band before they surrendered their battle of the Great Plains and went to a reservation in Indian Territory...

     beginning in the 1890s and incorporating in 1918.
  • Church Of Satan
    Church of Satan
    The Church of Satan is an organization dedicated to the acceptance of the carnal self, as articulated in The Satanic Bible, written in 1969 by Anton Szandor LaVey.- History :...

     - founded by Anton LaVey
    Anton LaVey
    Anton Szandor LaVey , born Howard Stanton Levey, was the founder of the Church of Satan as well as a writer, occultist, and musician...

     in San Francisco, California, 1966.

Government positions


The First Amendment guarantees both the free practice of religion and the non-establishment of religion by the federal government (later court decisions have extended that prohibition to the states). The U.S. Pledge of Allegiance
Pledge of Allegiance
The Pledge of Allegiance of the United States is an expression of loyalty to the federal flag and the republic of the United States of America, originally composed by Christian Socialist Francis Bellamy in 1892 and formally adopted by Congress as the pledge in 1942...

 was modified in 1954 to add the phrase "under God", in order to distinguish itself from the state atheism
State atheism
State atheism is the official "promotion of atheism" by a government, sometimes combined with active suppression of religious freedom and practice...

 espoused by the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

.

Various American presidents
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

 have often stated the importance of religion. On February 20, 1955, President Dwight D. Eisenhower
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Dwight David "Ike" Eisenhower was the 34th President of the United States, from 1953 until 1961. He was a five-star general in the United States Army...

 stated that "Recognition of the Supreme Being is the first, the most basic, expression of Americanism." President Gerald Ford
Gerald Ford
Gerald Rudolph "Jerry" Ford, Jr. was the 38th President of the United States, serving from 1974 to 1977, and the 40th Vice President of the United States serving from 1973 to 1974...

 agreed with and repeated this statement in 1974.

Belief in a God


Various polls have been conducted to determine Americans' actual beliefs regarding God:
  • A 2006 CBS News Poll of 899 U.S. adults found that 76% of those surveyed believed in God, while 9% believed in "some other universal spirit or higher power", 8% believed in neither, and 1% were unsure.
  • A 2008 survey of 1,000 people concluded that, based on their stated beliefs rather than their religious identification, 70% of Americans believe in a personal God, roughly 12% of Americans are atheist or agnostic, and another 12% are deistic (believing in a higher power/non-personal God, but no personal God).
  • A late 2009 online Harris poll of 2,303 U.S. adults (18 and older) found that "82% of adult Americans believe in God", the same number as in two earlier polls in 2005 and 2007. Another 9% said they did not believe in God, and 9% said that they were not sure. It further concluded, "Large majorities also believe in miracles (76%), heaven (75%), that Jesus is God or the Son of God (73%), in angels (72%), the survival of the soul after death (71%), and in the resurrection of Jesus (70%). Less than half (45%) of adults believe in Darwin’s theory of evolution but this is more than the 40% who believe in creationism..... Many people consider themselves Christians without necessarily believing in some of the key beliefs of Christianity. However, this is not true of born-again Christians. In addition to their religious beliefs, large minorities of adults, including many Christians, have "pagan" or pre-Christian beliefs such as a belief in ghosts, astrology, witches and reincarnation."

Church attendance


Gallup International indicates that 41% of American citizens report they regularly attend religious services, compared to 15% of French citizens, 10% of UK citizens
Religion in the United Kingdom
Religion in the United Kingdom and the states that pre-dated the UK, was dominated by forms of Christianity for over 1,400 years. Although a majority of citizens still identify with Christianity in many surveys, regular church attendance has fallen dramatically since the middle of the 20th century,...

, and 7.5% of Australian citizens
Religion in Australia
In the 21st century, religion in Australia is demographically dominated by Christianity, with 64% of the population claiming at least nominal adherence to the Christian faith as of 2007, although less than a quarter of those attend church weekly. 18.7% of Australians declared "no-religion" on the...

.

In, a 2006 online Harris Poll of 2,010 U.S. adults (18 and older) found that only 26% of those surveyed attended religious services "every week or more often", 9% went "once or twice a month", 21% went "a few times a year", 3% went "once a year", 22% went "less than once a year", and 18% never attend religious services. An identical survey by Harris in 2003 found that only 26% of those surveyed attended religious services "every week or more often", 11% went "once or twice a month", 19% went "a few times a year", 4% went "once a year", 16% went "less than once a year", and 25% never attend religious services.

By state



Church attendance
Church attendance
Church attendance refers to the reception of religious services offered by a particular church, or more generally, by any religious organisation.-Participation statistics:...

 varies considerably by state and region. In a 2006 Gallup survey, 42% of Americans said that they attended church or synagogue once a week or almost every week. The figures ranged from 58% in Alabama
Alabama
Alabama is a state located in the southeastern region of the United States. It is bordered by Tennessee to the north, Georgia to the east, Florida and the Gulf of Mexico to the south, and Mississippi to the west. Alabama ranks 30th in total land area and ranks second in the size of its inland...

, Louisiana
Louisiana
Louisiana is a state located in the southern region of the United States of America. Its capital is Baton Rouge and largest city is New Orleans. Louisiana is the only state in the U.S. with political subdivisions termed parishes, which are local governments equivalent to counties...

 and South Carolina
South Carolina
South Carolina is a state in the Deep South of the United States that borders Georgia to the south, North Carolina to the north, and the Atlantic Ocean to the east. Originally part of the Province of Carolina, the Province of South Carolina was one of the 13 colonies that declared independence...

 to 24% in Vermont
Vermont
Vermont is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. The state ranks 43rd in land area, , and 45th in total area. Its population according to the 2010 census, 630,337, is the second smallest in the country, larger only than Wyoming. It is the only New England...

 and New Hampshire
New Hampshire
New Hampshire is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. The state was named after the southern English county of Hampshire. It is bordered by Massachusetts to the south, Vermont to the west, Maine and the Atlantic Ocean to the east, and the Canadian...

.
Church Attendance by State
Rank State Percent
National average 42%
1  Alabama 58%
1  Louisiana 58%
1  South Carolina 58%
4  Mississippi 57%
5  Arkansas 55%
5  Utah 55%
7  Nebraska 53%
7  North Carolina 53%
9  Georgia (U.S. state) 52%
9  Tennessee 52%
11  Oklahoma 50%
12  Republic of Texas 49%
13  Kentucky 48%
14  Kansas 47%
15  Indiana 46%
15  Iowa 46%
15  Missouri 46%
15  West Virginia 46%
19  South Dakota 45%
20  Minnesota 44%
20  Virginia 44%
22  Delaware 43%
22  Idaho 43%
22  North Dakota 43%
22  Ohio 43%
22  Pennsylvania 43%
22  Wisconsin 43%
28  Illinois 42%
28  Michigan 42%
30  Maryland 41%
30  New Mexico 41%
32  Florida 39%
33  Connecticut 37%
34  Wyoming 36%
35  Arizona 35%
35  Colorado 35%
37  Montana 34%
37  New Jersey 34%
39  Washington, D.C. 33%
39  New York 33%
41  California 32%
41  Oregon 32%
41  Washington 32%
44  Maine 31%
44  Massachusetts 31%
46  Rhode Island 28%
47  Nevada 27%
48  New Hampshire 24%
48  Vermont 24%

Religion and politics



In August 2010 67% of Americans said religion is losing influence, compared with 59% who said this in 2006. Majorities of white evangelical Protestants (79%), while mainline Protestants (67%), Black Protestants (56%), Catholics (71%), and the religiously unaffiliated (62%) all agree that religion is losing influence on American life; 53% of the total public says this is a bad thing while just 10% see it as a good thing.

Politicians frequently discuss their religion when campaigning, and Fundamentalist and Black Protestants are highly politically active. However, to keep their status as tax-exempt organizations they must not officially endorse a candidate. Historically Catholics were heavily Democrats before the 1970s, while mainline Protestants comprised the core of the Republican Party. Those patterns have faded away—Catholics, for example, now split about 50–50. However, white evangelicals since 1980 have made up a solidly Republican group that favors conservative candidates. Secular voters are increasingly Democratic.

Only three presidential candidates for major parties have been Catholics, all for the Democratic party:
  • Alfred E. Smith in presidential election of 1928
    United States presidential election, 1928
    The United States presidential election of 1928 pitted Republican Herbert Hoover against Democrat Al Smith. The Republicans were identified with the booming economy of the 1920s, whereas Smith, a Roman Catholic, suffered politically from Anti-Catholic prejudice, his anti-prohibitionist stance, and...

     was hammered with anti-Catholic rhetoric, which seriously hurt him in the Baptist areas of the South and Lutheran areas of the Midwest, but he did well in the Catholic urban strongholds of the Northeast.
  • John F. Kennedy
    John F. Kennedy
    John Fitzgerald "Jack" Kennedy , often referred to by his initials JFK, was the 35th President of the United States, serving from 1961 until his assassination in 1963....

     secured the Democratic presidential nomination in 1960. In the 1960 election
    United States presidential election, 1960
    The United States presidential election of 1960 was the 44th American presidential election, held on November 8, 1960, for the term beginning January 20, 1961, and ending January 20, 1965. The incumbent president, Republican Dwight D. Eisenhower, was not eligible to run again. The Republican Party...

    , Kennedy faced accusations that as a Roman Catholic President he would do as the Pope would tell him to do, a charge that Kennedy refuted in a famous address to Protestant ministers.
  • John Kerry
    John Kerry
    John Forbes Kerry is the senior United States Senator from Massachusetts, the 10th most senior U.S. Senator and chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He was the presidential nominee of the Democratic Party in the 2004 presidential election, but lost to former President George W...

     won the Democratic presidential nomination in 2004. In the 2004 election
    United States presidential election, 2004
    The United States presidential election of 2004 was the United States' 55th quadrennial presidential election. It was held on Tuesday, November 2, 2004. Republican Party candidate and incumbent President George W. Bush defeated Democratic Party candidate John Kerry, the then-junior U.S. Senator...

     religion was hardly an issue, and most Catholics voted for his Protestant opponent.


Joe Biden
Joe Biden
Joseph Robinette "Joe" Biden, Jr. is the 47th and current Vice President of the United States, serving under President Barack Obama...

 is the first Catholic vice president.

The only Jewish major party candidate was Joe Lieberman
Joe Lieberman
Joseph Isadore "Joe" Lieberman is the senior United States Senator from Connecticut. A former member of the Democratic Party, he was the party's nominee for Vice President in the 2000 election. Currently an independent, he remains closely affiliated with the party.Born in Stamford, Connecticut,...

 in the Gore
Al Gore
Albert Arnold "Al" Gore, Jr. served as the 45th Vice President of the United States , under President Bill Clinton. He was the Democratic Party's nominee for President in the 2000 U.S. presidential election....

-Lieberman campaign of 2000
United States presidential election, 2000
The United States presidential election of 2000 was a contest between Republican candidate George W. Bush, then-governor of Texas and son of former president George H. W. Bush , and Democratic candidate Al Gore, then-Vice President....

 (although John Kerry
John Kerry
John Forbes Kerry is the senior United States Senator from Massachusetts, the 10th most senior U.S. Senator and chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He was the presidential nominee of the Democratic Party in the 2004 presidential election, but lost to former President George W...

 and Barry Goldwater
Barry Goldwater
Barry Morris Goldwater was a five-term United States Senator from Arizona and the Republican Party's nominee for President in the 1964 election. An articulate and charismatic figure during the first half of the 1960s, he was known as "Mr...

 both had Jewish ancestry).

In 2006 Keith Ellison
Keith Ellison (politician)
Keith Maurice Ellison is the U.S. Representative for , serving since 2007. He is a member of the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party. The district centers on Minneapolis. He was re-elected in 2010. Ellison is a co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.He is the first Muslim to be elected to the...

 of Minnesota became the first Muslim elected to Congress; when re-enacting his swearing-in for photos
Qur'an oath controversy of the 110th United States Congress
In mid-November 2006 it was reported that Keith Ellison, the first Muslim elected to the United States Congress , "will take his oath of office with his hand upon the Qur'an, the Islamic holy book." In reaction to the news, conservative media pundit Dennis Prager criticized the decision in his...

, he used the copy of the Qur'an
Qur'an
The Quran , also transliterated Qur'an, Koran, Alcoran, Qur’ān, Coran, Kuran, and al-Qur’ān, is the central religious text of Islam, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God . It is regarded widely as the finest piece of literature in the Arabic language...

 once owned by Thomas Jefferson.

A Gallup Poll released in 2007 indicated that 53% of Americans would refuse to vote for an atheist as president, up from 48% in 1987 and 1999. In fact, there is a single American congressman who is openly non-theistic, Pete Stark
Pete Stark
Fortney Hillman "Pete" Stark, Jr. is the U.S. Representative for , serving since 1973. He is a member of the Democratic Party. Currently he is the 5th most senior Representative, as well as 6th most senior member of Congress overall...

.

Christian bodies


The table below is based mainly on data reported by individual denominations to the Yearbook of American and Canadian Churches, and published in 2011 by the National Council of Churches of Christ in USA. It only includes religious bodies reporting 60,000 or more members. The definition of a member is determined by each religious body.

Religious body Year Reported Places of Worship Reported Membership
(thousands)
Number of Ministers
African Methodist Episcopal Church
African Methodist Episcopal Church
The African Methodist Episcopal Church, usually called the A.M.E. Church, is a predominantly African American Methodist denomination based in the United States. It was founded by the Rev. Richard Allen in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1816 from several black Methodist congregations in the...

 
1999 0-sm=n 2,500 7,741
African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church
African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church
The African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, or AME Zion Church, is a historically African-American Christian denomination. It was officially formed in 1821, but operated for a number of years before then....

 
2002 3,226 1,431 3,252
American Baptist Association
American Baptist Association
The American Baptist Association , formed in 1924, is an association of nearly 2,000 theologically conservative churches that are Landmark Baptist in their missions and teachings...

 
1998 1,760 275 1,740
American Baptist Churches USA
American Baptist Churches USA
The American Baptist Churches USA is a Baptist Christian denomination within the United States. The denomination maintains headquarters in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. The organization is usually considered mainline, although varying theological and mission emphases may be found among its...

 
1998 3,800 1,507 4,145
Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America
Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America
The Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America is the sole jurisdiction of the Antiochian Orthodox Church in the United States and Canada with exclusive jurisdiction over the Antiochian Orthodox faithful in those countries, though these faithful were originally cared for by the...

 
1998 220 65 263
Armenian Apostolic Church
Armenian Apostolic Church
The Armenian Apostolic Church is the world's oldest National Church, is part of Oriental Orthodoxy, and is one of the most ancient Christian communities. Armenia was the first country to adopt Christianity as its official religion in 301 AD, in establishing this church...

 
1998 28 200 25
Assemblies of God
Assemblies of God
The Assemblies of God , officially the World Assemblies of God Fellowship, is a group of over 140 autonomous but loosely-associated national groupings of churches which together form the world's largest Pentecostal denomination...

 
2009 12,371 2,914 34,504
Baptist Bible Fellowship International
Baptist Bible Fellowship International
The Baptist Bible Fellowship International is a separatist, fundamentalist Baptist organization formed in 1950 by members who separated from the World Baptist Fellowship. It is headquartered in Springfield, Missouri...

 
1997 4,500 1,200 -
Baptist General Conference
Baptist General Conference
The Baptist General Conference is a national evangelical Baptist body with roots in Pietism in Sweden and inroads among evangelical Scandinavian-Americans, particularly in the American Upper Midwest. From its beginning among Scandinavian immigrants, the BGC has grown to a nationwide association...

 
1998 876 141 -
Baptist Missionary Association of America
Baptist Missionary Association of America
The Baptist Missionary Association of America is a fellowship of autonomous Baptist churches for the purpose of benevolence, Christian education, and missions....

 
1999 1,334 235 1,525
Christian and Missionary Alliance
Christian and Missionary Alliance
The Christian and Missionary Alliance is an evangelical Protestant denomination within Christianity.Founded by Rev. Albert Benjamin Simpson in 1887, the Christian & Missionary Alliance did not start off as a denomination, but rather began as two distinct parachurch organizations: The Christian...

, The
1998 1,964 346 1,629
Christian Brethren (Plymouth Brethren
Plymouth Brethren
The Plymouth Brethren is a conservative, Evangelical Christian movement, whose history can be traced to Dublin, Ireland, in the late 1820s. Although the group is notable for not taking any official "church name" to itself, and not having an official clergy or liturgy, the title "The Brethren," is...

)
1997 1,150 100 -
Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
The Christian Church is a Mainline Protestant denomination in North America. It is often referred to as The Christian Church, The Disciples of Christ, or more simply as The Disciples...

 
1997 3,818 879 3,419
Christian churches and churches of Christ  1998 5,579 1,072 5,525
Christian Congregation, Inc., The 1998 1,438 117 1,436
Christian Methodist Episcopal Church
Christian Methodist Episcopal Church
The Christian Methodist Episcopal Church is a historically black denomination within the broader context of Methodism. The group was organized in 1870 when several black ministers, with the full support of their white counterparts in the former Methodist Episcopal Church, South, met to form an...

 
1983 2,340 719 -
Christian Reformed Church in North America
Christian Reformed Church in North America
The Christian Reformed Church in North America is a Protestant Christian denomination in the United States and Canada. Having roots in the Dutch Reformed churches of the Netherlands, the Christian Reformed Church was founded by Gijsbert Haan and Dutch immigrants who left the Reformed Church in...

 
1998 733 199 655
Church of God in Christ
Church of God in Christ
The Church of God in Christ is a Pentecostal Holiness Christian denomination with a predominantly African-American membership. With nearly five million members in the United States and 12,000 congregations, it is the largest Pentecostal church and the fifth largest Christian church in the U.S....

 
1991 15,300 5,500 28,988
Church of God of Prophecy
Church of God of Prophecy
The Church of God of Prophecy is a Christian denomination with beliefs and principles similar to Pentecostal Holiness Christian faith. It is one of five Church of God bodies headquartered in Cleveland, Tennessee that descended from a small meeting of believers who gathered at the Barney Creek...

 
1997 1,908 77 2,000
Church of God (Anderson, Indiana)
Church of God (Anderson)
The Church of God is a holiness Christian body with roots in Wesleyan pietism and also in the restorationist traditions. Founded in 1881 by Daniel Sidney Warner, the church claims 1,170,143 adherents...

 
1998 2,353 234 3034
Church of God (Cleveland, Tennessee)
Church of God (Cleveland, Tennessee)
The Church of God, with headquarters in Cleveland, Tennessee, is a Pentecostal Christian denomination. With over seven million members in over 170 countries, it is one of the largest Pentecostal denominations in the world...

 
1995 6,060 753 3,121
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) 2006 13,010 5,779 39,030
Church of the Brethren
Church of the Brethren
The Church of the Brethren is a Christian denomination originating from the Schwarzenau Brethren organized in 1708 by eight persons led by Alexander Mack, in Schwarzenau, Bad Berleburg, Germany. The Brethren movement began as a melding of Radical Pietist and Anabaptist ideas during the...

 
1997 1,095 141 827
Church of the Nazarene
Church of the Nazarene
The Church of the Nazarene is an evangelical Christian denomination that emerged from the 19th century Holiness movement in North America with its members colloquially referred to as Nazarenes. It is the largest Wesleyan-holiness denomination in the world. At the end of 2010, the Church of the...

 
1998 5,101 627 4,598
Churches of Christ  1999 15,000 1,500 14,500
Conservative Baptist Association of America
Conservative Baptist Association of America
-History:The first organization of Conservative Baptists was the Conservative Baptist Foreign Mission Society , now called WorldVenture, formed in Chicago, Illinois in 1943. The Conservative Baptist Association of America was organized in Atlantic City, New Jersey in 1947. The Association operates...

 
1998 1,200 200 -
Community of Christ
Community of Christ
The Community of Christ, known from 1872 to 2001 as the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints , is an American-based international Christian church established in April 1830 that claims as its mission "to proclaim Jesus Christ and promote communities of joy, hope, love, and peace"...

 
1998 1,236 140 19,319
Coptic Orthodox Church  2003 200 1,000 200
Cumberland Presbyterian Church
Cumberland Presbyterian Church
The Cumberland Presbyterian Church is a Presbyterian Christian denomination spawned by the Second Great Awakening. In 2007, it had an active membership of less than 50,000 and about 800 congregations, the majority of which are concentrated in the United States...

 
1998 774 87 634
Episcopal Church  1996 7,390 2,365 8,131
Evangelical Covenant Church
Evangelical Covenant Church
The Evangelical Covenant Church is an evangelical Christian denomination of more than 800 congregations and an average worship attendance of 179,000 people in the United States and Canada with ministries on five continents. Founded in 1885 by Swedish immigrants, the church is now one of the most...

, The
1998 628 97 607
Evangelical Free Church of America
Evangelical Free Church of America
The Evangelical Free Church of America is an evangelical Christian denomination. The EFCA was formed in 1950 from the merger of the Swedish Evangelical Free Church and the Norwegian-Danish Evangelical Free Church Association.-History:...

, The
1995 1,224 243 1,936
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America is a mainline Protestant denomination headquartered in Chicago, Illinois. The ELCA officially came into existence on January 1, 1988, by the merging of three churches. As of December 31, 2009, it had 4,543,037 baptized members, with 2,527,941 of them...

 
1998 10,862 5,178 9,646
Evangelical Presbyterian Church  1998 187 61 262
Free Methodist Church
Free Methodist Church
The Free Methodist Church is a Methodist Christian denomination within the holiness movement. It is evangelical in nature and has its roots in the Arminian-Wesleyan tradition....

 of North America
1998 990 73 -
Full Gospel Fellowship 1999 896 275 2,070
General Association of General Baptists
General Association of General Baptists
General Association of General Baptists - a group of Baptists holding the general atonement , located mostly in the midwestern United States....

 
1997 790 72 1,085
General Association of Regular Baptist Churches
General Association of Regular Baptist Churches
The General Association of Regular Baptist Churches is one of several Baptist groups in North America retaining the name "Regular Baptist"....

 
1998 1,415 102 -
U.S. Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches
U.S. Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches
The US Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches is an association of Mennonite Christians with origins in southern Russia.-Background:...

 
1996 368 82 590
Grace Gospel Fellowship 1992 128 60 160
Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America
Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America
The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, headquartered in New York City, is an eparchy of the Church of Constantinople. Its current primate is Archbishop Demetrios of America.-About the Archdiocese:...

 
1998 523 1,955 596
Independent Fundamental Churches of America
Independent Fundamental Churches of America
The Independent Fundamental Churches of America was founded in Cicero, Illinois in 1930. The name was officially changed to IFCA International in 1996. It is an association of nearly 1000 independent Protestant churches located largely in the United States and up to three times that number of...

 
1999 659 62 -
International Church of the Foursquare Gospel
International Church of the Foursquare Gospel
The International Church of the Foursquare Gospel, commonly referred to as the Foursquare Church, is an evangelical Pentecostal Christian denomination. As of 2000 it had a worldwide membership of over 8,000,000, with almost 60,000 churches in 144 countries. In 2006, membership in the United States...

 
1998 1,851 238 4,900
International Council of Community Churches
International Council of Community Churches
The International Council of Community Churches is a Christian religious association of ecumenically co-operating and Independent Catholics based in Frankfort, Illinois, in the United States. It is the main organization of the Community Church movement...

 
1998 150 250 182
International Pentecostal Holiness Church
International Pentecostal Holiness Church
The International Pentecostal Holiness Church or simply Pentecostal Holiness Church is a Pentecostal Christian denomination founded in 1911 with the merger of two older denominations. Traditionally centered in the Southeastern United States, particularly the Carolinas and Georgia, the Pentecostal...

 
1998 1,716 177 1,507
Jehovah's Witnesses
Jehovah's Witnesses
Jehovah's Witnesses is a millenarian restorationist Christian denomination with nontrinitarian beliefs distinct from mainstream Christianity. The religion reports worldwide membership of over 7 million adherents involved in evangelism, convention attendance of over 12 million, and annual...

 
1999 11,064 1,040 -
Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod
Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod
The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod is a traditional, confessional Lutheran denomination in the United States. With 2.3 million members, it is both the eighth largest Protestant denomination and the second-largest Lutheran body in the U.S. after the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. The Synod...

, The
1998 6,218 2,594 5,227
Mennonite Church USA
Mennonite Church USA
The Mennonite Church USA, or MCUSA, is an Anabaptist Christian denomination in the United States. Although the organization is a recent 2002 merger of the Mennonite Church and the General Conference Mennonite Church, the body has roots in the Radical Reformation of the 16th century...

 
2005 943 114 -
National Association of Congregational Christian Churches
National Association of Congregational Christian Churches
The National Association of Congregational Christian Churches is an association of about 400 churches providing fellowship for and services to churches from the Congregational tradition. The Association maintains its national office in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, a suburb of Milwaukee...

 
1998 416 67 534
National Association of Free Will Baptists
National Association of Free Will Baptists
The National Association of Free Will Baptists is a national body of Free Will Baptist churches in the United States and Canada, organized on November 5, 1935 in Nashville, Tennessee...

 
1998 2,297 210 2,800
National Baptist Convention of America, Inc.
National Baptist Convention of America, Inc.
The National Baptist Convention of America, Inc. is an African-American Baptist body organized in 1915 as the result of a struggle to keep the National Baptist Publishing Board of Nashville independent. Those supporting the independence of the publishing board, headed by Rev. R. H...

 
1987 2,500 3,500 8,000
National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc.
National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc.
The National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc. is the largest predominantly African-American Christian denomination in the United States and is the world's second largest Baptist denomination...

 
1992 33,000 8,200 32,832
National Missionary Baptist Convention of America
National Missionary Baptist Convention of America
The National Missionary Baptist Convention of America is an African-American Baptist convention which combined the efforts of Missionary Baptist churches and organizations throughout the country with the goal of unity for capable and efficient ministry. The NMBCA also seeks to propagate Baptist...

 
1992 - 2,500 -
Old Order Amish Church 1993 898 81 3,592
Orthodox Church in America
Orthodox Church in America
The Orthodox Church in America is an autocephalous Eastern Orthodox church in North America. Its primate is Metropolitan Jonah , who was elected on November 12, 2008, and was formally installed on December 28, 2008...

 
1998 625 28 700
Pentecostal Assemblies of the World
Pentecostal Assemblies of the World
The Pentecostal Assemblies of the World is a Pentecostal Christian denomination. Founded in 1914, it is one of the oldest Oneness Pentecostal organizations in existence. Headquarters are in Indianapolis, Indiana, and The Christian Outlook is the church's official publication...

, Inc.
1998 1,750 1,500 4,500
Pentecostal Church of God
Pentecostal Church of God
The Pentecostal Church of God is a trinitarian Pentecostal Christian denomination headquartered in Joplin, Missouri, United States. As of 2006, there were 117,000 members and 2,870 clergy in 1,170 churches in the United States. Sixty churches and missions exist among the Native Americans...

 
1998 1,237 104 -
Presbyterian Church in America
Presbyterian Church in America
The Presbyterian Church in America is an evangelical Protestant Christian denomination, the second largest Presbyterian church body in the United States after the Presbyterian Church . The PCA professes a strong commitment to evangelism, missionary work, and Christian education...

 
1997 1,340 280 1,642
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
The Presbyterian Church , or PC, is a mainline Protestant Christian denomination in the United States. Part of the Reformed tradition, it is the largest Presbyterian denomination in the U.S...

 
1998 11,260 3,575 9,390
Progressive National Baptist Convention
Progressive National Baptist Convention
The Progressive National Baptist Convention, Incorporated is a convention of African-American Baptists emphasizing civil rights and social justice....

, Inc.
1995 2,000 2,500 -
Reformed Church in America
Reformed Church in America
The Reformed Church in America is a mainline Reformed Protestant denomination in Canada and the United States. It has about 170,000 members, with the total declining in recent decades. From its beginning in 1628 until 1819, it was the North American branch of the Dutch Reformed Church. In 1819, it...

 
1998 902 296 915
Religious Society of Friends
Religious Society of Friends
The Religious Society of Friends, or Friends Church, is a Christian movement which stresses the doctrine of the priesthood of all believers. Members are known as Friends, or popularly as Quakers. It is made of independent organisations, which have split from one another due to doctrinal differences...

 (Conservative)
1994 1,200 104 -
Roman Catholic Church
Roman Catholic Church
The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the world's largest Christian church, with over a billion members. Led by the Pope, it defines its mission as spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, administering the sacraments and exercising charity...

 
2002 19,484 66,404 -
Romanian Orthodox Episcopate
Orthodox Church in America Romanian Episcopate
The Romanian Orthodox Episcopate of America is one of three ethnic dioceses of the Orthodox Church in America , and a former diocese of the Romanian Orthodox Church...

 
1996 37 65 37
Salvation Army
The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army is a Protestant Christian church known for its thrift stores and charity work. It is an international movement that currently works in over a hundred countries....

, The
1998 1,388 471 2,920
Serbian Orthodox Church
Serbian Orthodox Church
The Serbian Orthodox Church is one of the autocephalous Orthodox Christian churches, ranking sixth in order of seniority after Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, Jerusalem, and Russia...

 
1986 68 67 60
Seventh-day Adventist Church
Seventh-day Adventist Church
The Seventh-day Adventist Church is a Protestant Christian denomination distinguished by its observance of Saturday, the original seventh day of the Judeo-Christian week, as the Sabbath, and by its emphasis on the imminent second coming of Jesus Christ...

 
1998 4,405 840 2,454
Southern Baptist Convention
Southern Baptist Convention
The Southern Baptist Convention is a United States-based Christian denomination. It is the world's largest Baptist denomination and the largest Protestant body in the United States, with over 16 million members...

 
1998 40,870 16,500 71,520
Unitarian Universalism
Unitarian Universalism
Unitarian Universalism is a religion characterized by support for a "free and responsible search for truth and meaning". Unitarian Universalists do not share a creed; rather, they are unified by their shared search for spiritual growth and by the understanding that an individual's theology is a...

 
2001 - 629 -
United Church of Christ
United Church of Christ
The United Church of Christ is a mainline Protestant Christian denomination primarily in the Reformed tradition but also historically influenced by Lutheranism. The Evangelical and Reformed Church and the Congregational Christian Churches united in 1957 to form the UCC...

 
1998 6,017 1,421 4,317
United Methodist Church
United Methodist Church
The United Methodist Church is a Methodist Christian denomination which is both mainline Protestant and evangelical. Founded in 1968 by the union of The Methodist Church and the Evangelical United Brethren Church, the UMC traces its roots back to the revival movement of John and Charles Wesley...

, The
1998 36,170 8,400 -
Wesleyan Church
Wesleyan Church
"Wesleyan" has been used in the title of a number of historic and current denominations, although the subject of this article is the only denomination to use that specific title...

, The
1998 1,590 120 1,806
Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod
Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod
The Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod is a North American Confessional Lutheran denomination of Christianity. Characterized as theologically conservative, it was founded in 1850 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. As of 2008, it had a baptized membership of over 389,364 in more than 1,290 congregations,...

 
1997 1,240 411 1,222

ARDA survey


The Association of Religion Data Archives
Association of religion data archives
The Association of Religion Data Archives is a free source of online information related to American and international religion. Founded as the American Religion Data Archive in 1997, and online since 1998, the archive was initially targeted at researchers interested in American religion...

 (ARDA) surveyed congregations for their memberships. Churches were asked for their membership numbers. Adjustments were made for those congregations that did not respond and for religious groups that reported only adult membership. ARDA estimates that most of the churches not responding were black Protestant congregations. Significant difference in results from other databases include the lower representation of adherents of 1> all kinds (62.7%), 2>Christians (59.9%) 3>Protestants (less than 36%); and the greater number of unaffiliated (37.3%).
align=top | Religious groups
Religious group number
in year
2000
% in
year
2000
Total US pop year 2000 281,421,839 100.0%
Evangelical Protestant 39,994,852 14.2%
Mainline Protestant 26,091,321 9.3%
Protestant (evangelical+mainline) 66,086,173 23.5%
Catholic 62,035,042 22.0%
Orthodox 989,106 0.4%
adherents (unadjusted) 141,364,420 50.2%
unclaimed 140,057,419 49.8%
adjustment for non-responses (mostly black Protestant congregations) 35,112,928 12.5%
total adherents (adjusted) 176,477,348 62.7%
non-affiliated (unclaimed - adjustment) 104,944,491 37.3%
other - including Mormon & Christ Scientist 12,254,099 4.4%
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormon, LDS) 4,224,026 1.5%
other - excluding Mormon 8,030,073 2.9%
Jewish estimate 6,141,325 2.2%
Buddhist estimate 2,000,000 0.7%
Muslim estimate 1,559,294 0.6%
Hindu estimate 1,110,000 0.4%
Source: ARDA
Association of religion data archives
The Association of Religion Data Archives is a free source of online information related to American and international religion. Founded as the American Religion Data Archive in 1997, and online since 1998, the archive was initially targeted at researchers interested in American religion...


ARIS findings regarding self-identification





The United States government does not collect religious data in its census. The survey below, the American Religious Identification Survey (ARIS) 2008, was a random digit-dialed telephone survey
Statistical survey
Survey methodology is the field that studies surveys, that is, the sample of individuals from a population with a view towards making statistical inferences about the population using the sample. Polls about public opinion, such as political beliefs, are reported in the news media in democracies....

 of 54,461 American residential households in the contiguous United States
Contiguous United States
The contiguous United States are the 48 U.S. states on the continent of North America that are south of Canada and north of Mexico, plus the District of Columbia....

. The 1990 sample size was 113,723; 2001 sample size was 50,281.

Adult respondents were asked the open-ended question
Open-ended question
A closed-ended question is a form of question which can normally be answered using a simple "yes" or "no", a specific simple piece of information, or a selection from multiple choices.Examples include:*Question: Do you know your weight?Answer: Yes....

, "What is your religion, if any?" Interviewers did not prompt or offer a suggested list of potential answers. The religion of the spouse or partner was also asked. If the initial answer was "Protestant" or "Christian" further questions were asked to probe which particular denomination. About one third of the sample was asked more detailed demographic questions.

Religious Self-Identification of the U.S. Adult Population: 1990, 2001, 2008
Figures are not adjusted for refusals to reply; investigators suspect refusals are possibly more representative of "no religion" than any other group.
align=bottom | Source:ARIS 2008
Group
1990
adults
x 1,000
2001
adults
x 1,000
2008
adults
x 1,000

Numerical
Change
1990–
2008
as %
of 1990
1990
% of
adults
2001
% of
adults
2008
% of
adults
change
in % of
total
adults
1990–
2008
Adult population, total 175,440 207,983 228,182 30.1%
Adult population, Responded 171,409 196,683 216,367 26.2% 97.7% 94.6% 94.8% −2.9%
Total Christian 151,225 159,514 173,402 14.7% 86.2% 76.7% 76.0% −10.2%
Catholic 46,004 50,873 57,199 24.3% 26.2% 24.5% 25.1% −1.2%
non-Catholic Christian 105,221 108,641 116,203 10.4% 60.0% 52.2% 50.9% −9.0%
Baptist 33,964 33,820 36,148 6.4% 19.4% 16.3% 15.8% −3.5%
Mainline Christian 32,784 35,788 29,375 −10.4% 18.7% 17.2% 12.9% −5.8%
Methodist 14,174 14,039 11,366 −19.8% 8.1% 6.8% 5.0% −3.1%
Lutheran 9,110 9,580 8,674 −4.8% 5.2% 4.6% 3.8% −1.4%
Presbyterian 4,985 5,596 4,723 −5.3% 2.8% 2.7% 2.1% −0.8%
Episcopalian/Anglican 3,043 3,451 2,405 −21.0% 1.7% 1.7% 1.1% −0.7%
United Church of Christ 438 1,378 736 68.0% 0.2% 0.7% 0.3% 0.1%
Christian Generic 25,980 22,546 32,441 24.9% 14.8% 10.8% 14.2% −0.6%
Christian Unspecified 8,073 14,190 16,384 102.9% 4.6% 6.8% 7.2% 2.6%
Non-denominational Christian 194 2,489 8,032 4040.2% 0.1% 1.2% 3.5% 3.4%
Protestant – Unspecified 17,214 4,647 5,187 −69.9% 9.8% 2.2% 2.3% −7.5%
Evangelical/Born Again 546 1,088 2,154 294.5% 0.3% 0.5% 0.9% 0.6%
Pentecostal/Charismatic 5,647 7,831 7,948 40.7% 3.2% 3.8% 3.5% 0.3%
Pentecostal – Unspecified 3,116 4,407 5,416 73.8% 1.8% 2.1% 2.4% 0.6%
Assemblies of God 617 1,105 810 31.3% 0.4% 0.5% 0.4% 0.0%
Church of God 590 943 663 12.4% 0.3% 0.5% 0.3% 0.0%
Other Protestant Denominations 4,630 5,949 7,131 54.0% 2.6% 2.9% 3.1% 0.5%
Churches of Christ 1,769 2,593 1,921 8.6% 1.0% 1.2% 0.8% −0.2%
Jehovah's Witness 1,381 1,331 1,914 38.6% 0.8% 0.6% 0.8% 0.1%
Seventh-Day Adventist 668 724 938 40.4% 0.4% 0.3% 0.4% 0.0%
Mormon/Latter Day Saints 2,487 2,697 3,158 27.0% 1.4% 1.3% 1.4% 0.0%
Total non-Christian religions 5,853 7,740 8,796 50.3% 3.3% 3.7% 3.9% 0.5%
Jewish 3,137 2,837 2,680 −14.6% 1.8% 1.4% 1.2% −0.6%
Eastern Religions 687 2,020 1,961 185.4% 0.4% 1.0% 0.9% 0.5%
Buddhist 404 1,082 1,189 194.3% 0.2% 0.5% 0.5% 0.3%
Muslim 527 1,104 1,349 156.0% 0.3% 0.5% 0.6% 0.3%
New Religious Movements & Others 1,296 1,770 2,804 116.4% 0.7% 0.9% 1.2% 0.5%
None/ No religion, total 14,331 29,481 34,169 138.4% 8.2% 14.2% 15.0% 6.8%
Agnostic+Atheist 1,186 1,893 3,606 204.0% 0.7% 0.9% 1.6% 0.9%
Did Not Know/ Refused to reply 4,031 11,300 11,815 193.1% 2.3% 5.4% 5.2% 2.9%


Highlights:
  1. The ARIS 2008 survey was carried out during February–November 2008 and collected answers from 54,461 respondents who were questioned in English or Spanish.
  2. The American population self-identifies as predominantly Christian but Americans are slowly becoming less Christian.
    • 86% of American adults identified as Christians in 1990 and 76% in 2008.
    • The historic Mainline churches and denominations have experienced the steepest declines while the non-denominational Christian identity has been trending upward particularly since 2001.
    • The challenge to Christianity in the U.S. does not come from other religions but rather from a rejection of all forms of organized religion.
  3. 34% of American adults considered themselves "Born Again or Evangelical Christians" in 2008.
  4. The U. S. population continues to show signs of becoming less religious, with one out of every seven Americans failing to indicate a religious identity in 2008.
    • The "Nones" (no stated religious preference, atheist, or agnostic) continue to grow, though at a much slower pace than in the 1990s, from 8.2% in 1990, to 14.1% in 2001, to 15.0% in 2008.
    • Asian Americans are substantially more likely to indicate no religious identity than other racial or ethnic groups.
  5. One sign of the lack of attachment of Americans to religion is that 27% do not expect a religious funeral at their death.
  6. Based on their stated beliefs rather than their religious identification in 2008, 70% of Americans believe in a personal God, roughly 12% of Americans are atheist (no God) or agnostic (unknowable or unsure), and another 12% are deistic (a higher power but no personal God).
  7. America's religious geography has been transformed since 1990. Religious switching along with Hispanic immigration has significantly changed the religious profile of some states and regions. Between 1990 and 2008, the Catholic population proportion of the New England states fell from 50% to 36% and in New York it fell from 44% to 37%, while it rose in California from 29% to 37% and in Texas from 23% to 32%.
  8. Overall the 1990–2008 ARIS time series shows that changes in religious self-identification in the first decade of the 21st century have been moderate in comparison to the 1990s, which was a period of significant shifts in the religious composition of the United States.

Ethnicity


The table below shows the religious affiliations among the ethnicities in the United States, according to the Pew Forum 2007 survey. People of Black
African American
African Americans are citizens or residents of the United States who have at least partial ancestry from any of the native populations of Sub-Saharan Africa and are the direct descendants of enslaved Africans within the boundaries of the present United States...

 ethnicity were most likely to be part of a formal religion, with 85% percent being Christians. Protestant denominations make up the majority of the Christians in the ethnicities.
Religion White Black Asian Other/Mixed Latino
Christian 78% 85% 45% 69% 84%
Protestant 53% 78% 27% 51% 23%
Catholic 22% 5% 17% 14% 58%
Mormon 2% 0% 1% 2% 1%
Jehovah's Witness 0% 1% 0% 1% 1%
Orthodox 1% 0% 0% 1% 0%
Other 0% 0% 0% 1% 0%
Other Religions 5% 2% 30% 9% 2%
Jewish 2% 0% 0% 1% 0%
Muslim 0% 1% 4% 1% 0%
Buddhist 1% 0% 9% 1% 0%
Hindu 0% 0% 14% 1% 0%
Other world religions 0% 0% 2% 0% 0%
Other faiths 1% 0% 1% 5% 0%
Unaffiliated 17% 13% 25% 22% 15%

See also

  • Freedom of Religion in the United States
    Freedom of religion in the United States
    In the United States, freedom of religion is a constitutionally guaranteed right provided in the religion clauses of the First Amendment. Freedom of religion is also closely associated with separation of church and state, a concept advocated by Thomas Jefferson....

  • Fundamentalist Christianity
    Fundamentalist Christianity
    Christian fundamentalism, also known as Fundamentalist Christianity, or Fundamentalism, arose out of British and American Protestantism in the late 19th century and early 20th century among evangelical Christians...

  • Irreligion in the United States
    Irreligion in the United States
    Encompassing agnosticism, atheism, deism, skepticism, freethought, secular humanism or general secularism and even some forms of alternative spirituality such as New Age, various polls have put the population of "non-religious" North Americans at between 20 and 35 million...

  • Religion in United States prisons
    Religion in United States prisons
    Inmates incarcerated in the United States penal system practice a variety of religions. Their basic constitutional right to worship has been reinforced by decades of court decisions and more recently by the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act...

  • Religious affiliations of United States Presidents
  • Separation of church and state in the United States
    Separation of church and state in the United States
    The phrase "separation of church and state" , attributed to Thomas Jefferson and others, and since quoted by the Supreme Court of the United States, expresses an understanding of the intent and function of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States...

  • United States religious history

External links