Pew Research says African immigrants are the most religious among U.S. Blacks

A Bafumbira pastor prays during a service at Ntamutindi Baptist Church in Kisoro, the Democratic Republic of the Congo. A Pew study found that African Christians who emigrate to the U.S. are more religious than U.S.-born and Caribbean-born Blacks. IMB photo
A Bafumbira pastor prays during a service at Ntamutindi Baptist Church in Kisoro, the Democratic Republic of the Congo. A Pew study found that African Christians who emigrate to the U.S. are more religious than U.S.-born and Caribbean-born Blacks. IMB photo

WASHINGTON (BP) – Black African immigrants are more religious than U.S.-born and Caribbean-born Blacks, the Pew Research Center said this week in the results of its latest study of faith among African Americans.

More frequently than Blacks born in the U.S. or the Caribbean, Black African immigrants attend church services, read Scripture and see a duty to convert nonbelievers. Black African immigrants also are more likely to view religion as very important, to believe in God as He is described in Scripture, and to believe that Scripture should be taken literally, Pew said in the findings released Wednesday (Dec. 8).

Charles Grant, executive director of African American relations and mobilization for the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee, hailed the findings.

“I am excited about the opportunities this report reveals for advancing the Great Commission in partnership with our SBC networks and ethnic fellowships of the entire African diaspora,” Grant said. “I praise God for the spiritual engagement level of our African brothers and sisters here in the U.S., and I thank the Lord for our U.S.-born and Caribbean-born Black adults who are expressing an obligation to practice the spiritual disciplines listed.”

Fifty-four percent of Black African immigrants in the U.S. attend church services at least weekly, compared to 32 percent of U.S.-born and 30 percent of Caribbean-born Blacks; 50 percent read Scripture at least weekly, compared to 38 percent of Blacks born in the U.S. and the Caribbean; and 68 percent see a religious duty to convert nonbelievers, compared to 55 percent of Caribbean born and 51 percent of U.S. born.

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Source: Baptist Press