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Latino Daily News

Monday August 8, 2011

Pollster Says Hispanics Are Turning Away From Religion

Pollster Says Hispanics Are Turning Away From Religion

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According to pollster George Barna, Hispanics appear to be turning away from traditional organized religion.

In the fourth part of the Barna Group’s “State of the Church” report, “major faith shifts [were] evident among…Hispanics since 1991.”

The report states the following:

The ethnic group that reflected the most profound level of religious change over the last 20 years was Hispanics. Not only did Hispanics see the greatest number of the 14 religious variables shift, but the magnitude of the changes they have experienced dwarfed the changes relevant to white and black adults.

• Of the six religious behavior factors tracked, Hispanics have experienced statistically significant change related to five of those domains.
• Church attendance dropped by 21 percentage points, from 54% to 33%.
• Adult Sunday school attendance among Hispanics declined from 28% to just 9%.
• Bible reading plummeted from 55% to 30%.
• Attending a church of 600 or more people is much more likely these days among Hispanics. While that was the case among less than 1% of Hispanics in 1991, 24% attend a large church today.
• The percentage of unchurched Hispanic adults has doubled in the last two decades, jumping from 20% in 1991 to 40% today.
• The only behavior that did not transition substantially in the past 20 years was church volunteerism. While even that statistic sank from 22% back in 1991 to 13% in 2011, the gap is not sufficiently large to exceed the maximum possible sampling error.

There were many changes in the religious beliefs of Hispanics, too. Of the eight core beliefs measured, Hispanic adults showed major changes in relation to half of them.

• In 1991, two-thirds of Hispanic adults (66%) said their religious faith was very important to them. Today, only half hold that view (51%).
• Orthodox views of God are far less common among Hispanics today. In 1991, almost nine out of ten (88%) held such an outlook. Now, barely six out of ten do so (62%).
• The veracity of the Bible has taken a beating in Hispanic circles over the last two decades. In 1991, 62% of Hispanic adults strongly agreed that the Bible is accurate in all of the principles it teaches. That has dropped to just 32% now.
• Evangelism is viewed much more dimly these days by Hispanics. While about half of them (48%) felt they had a personal responsibility to share their religious beliefs with those who believe differently back in 1991, less than two out of ten (18%) possess that same view today.