Pew Survey Finds Upswing in Religion's Influence

Although church attendance has returned to the four-in-ten levels of last spring, a survey by the Pew Research Center indicates the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks "have increased the prominence of religion in the United States to an extraordinary degree." Fully 78% now say religion's influence in American life is growing-up from 37% eight months ago-and the highest mark on this measure in surveys dating back four decades.

In a 1957 Gallup survey, 69% of those surveyed said the influence of religion was increasing, the Pew Center stated, but that view has never exceeded 45% since.

The number of people who regard religion as "very important" to them personally, meanwhile, was virtually unchanged, at 61 percent, from the previous March. Asked whether the terrorist attacks are a sign "that God is no longer protecting the United States as much as in the past," 73 percent of the overall sample rejected that possibility as did 63 percent of white evangelical Protestants.

Baptist Press via HCJB World Radio