Evangelical-affiliated churches had more “practicing” Christians than other mainstream denominations, says a recent American Bible Society (ABS) study.
On Thursday, the ABS released the findings of a survey titled “The Bible in the American Church.” The survey was part of ABS’ 11th annual State of the Bible report.
The Christian Post reports that the chapter differentiates between practicing Christians and professing believers. It described practicing believers as those who go to religious activities “at least once a month,” and who firmly believe that their religion is extremely important to them. ABS adds that practicing Christians have also “incorporated the faith into their life and routine in a transformative way.”
Self-described Christians, on the other hand, are people “who simply say they believe.”
The survey conducted also found that among individuals who call themselves evangelicals, 42% consider themselves to be actively involved in their faith. Other denominations have much lower percentages of active Christians: 31% of predominantly Black Protestants, 28% of mainstream Protestants, and 22% of Catholics.
Christians were also asked about their relationship with the Bible as part of the study.
Only 67% of respondents are “Scripture engaged,” according to the study, while 29% are in the “movable middle” and 4% are “Scripture disengaged.”
Scripture-engaged Christians, according to the ABS, are those who “interact with the Bible regularly” and have a Scripture engagement score of at least 100.
The “movable middle” includes participants who scored between 70 and 99 on the Scripture engagement scale. Those in the moveable center are those who “sporadically interact with the Bible,” while those in the extremes “periodically open the Bible as a source of spiritual insight and wisdom.”
Christians who “interact infrequently with the Bible” are classified as “Bible disengaged.” The Bible also seems to have little impact on the Bible disengaged everyday life.
The other findings state that 75% of practicing Christians read the Bible weekly while 84% do so monthly. Conversely, just 28% of non-practicing Christians read the Bible weekly, and 39% do so monthly.
Evangelicals (93%) and historically black Protestants (87%) had the greatest weekly Bible reading rates (80 percent).
The poll, which included 3,354 people, was conducted in January.
In a related survey by the Pew Research Center, nearly half of evangelical Christians (49%) currently attend religious services in person without any kind of COVID-related limitations.
Faithwire notes that as per the survey, an astounding 64% of those who claim to “typically attend services at least once or twice a month,” actually went to church that month.
Pew’s research found that evangelical Protestants, White (non-Hispanic) Americans, and Republicans are more likely than other religious groups to believe that their churches should remain open during a pandemic.
Compared to July of last year and early this year, just 6% of respondents reported their houses of worship were still completely closed.
“The resumption of in-person attendance,” observed Pew Forum, “has been accompanied by a decline in the share of both U.S. adults overall and regular worshippers who say they have watched religious services online or on TV in the past month.”