Study Finds African-Americans Are More Bible Friendly Than the General Population
Scripture Remains a Cornerstone of Black Culture
While the general American population is divided in their views of the Bible,i African-Americans are overwhelmingly pro-Bible. African-Americans came out on top in Bible engagement and Bible friendliness in American Bible Society's fourth annual State of the Bible survey. They also led in the use of technology and frequent Bible reading when compared to all other races as well as the combined U.S. adult population.
The survey found the percentage of African-American adults who are engaged with Scriptureii is 27 percent, compared with 19 percent of the general population. In addition, 45 percent of African-American adults are considered Bible friendly,iii compared with 37 percent of all adults.
A larger percentage of African-Americans have accessed the Bible electronically via a cellphone, computer or tablet at 42 percent, compared to 33 percent of all adults. They are also leaders in downloading Bible apps. Thirty-nine percent of African-American adults have a Bible app downloaded on their phones, while only 21 percent of all adults report the same.
Not only do African-Americans have a higher percentage as frequent Bible readers, but they also boast the highest percentage of those reporting an increase in Bible reading in the last year (28 percent compared with a national average of 18 percent). Twenty-nine percent of African-American adults read the Bible four or more times a week or every day, while 19 percent of the general population of U.S. adults do.
The State of the Bible survey, conducted by Barna Group on behalf of American Bible Society, details Americans’ beliefs about the Bible, its role in society, its presence in U.S. homes and other information about the best-selling book of all time. As in previous years, the survey found the Bible remains a highly valued, influential force in America.
“African-Americans are the nation’s most engaged Bible readers. With the majority of blacks believing that the Bible contains everything a person needs to know to live a meaningful life, it is clear that the Bible is still a cornerstone of black culture,” said Arthur Satterwhite, senior program manager of Arts & Media Bible Advocacy for American Bible Society. “And African-Americans are leading the way in adopting the latest technology to allow them anytime, anywhere access to God’s Word.”
Sixty-two percent of African-Americans believe that the Bible contains everything a person needs to know to live a meaningful life, compared to only 50 percent of all adults.
Infographic and full report of the State of the Bible 2014 are available at TheStateoftheBible.com
Arthur Satterwhite, senior program manager of Arts & Media Bible Advocacy, American Bible Society
About American Bible Society:
Headquartered in Manhattan, the 198-year-old American Bible Society exists to make the Bible available to every person in a language and format each can understand and afford, so all people may experience its life-changing message. One of the nation's oldest nonprofit organizations, today's American Bible Society provides resources across a variety of platforms enabling first-time readers and seasoned theologians alike to engage with the best-selling book of all time. For more information, visit AmericanBible.org.
The State of the Bible 2014 report contains the findings from a nationwide study commissioned by American Bible Society and conducted by Barna Research (a division of Barna Group). Two research methodologies were used for the study; one included 1,012 telephone interviews (including cellphone interviews) with adults in the continental U.S., while the second study consisted of 1,024 online surveys using a nationally representative panel. The use of two methodologies provided a larger sample size for key questions and ensured even greater representation among all age groups. The telephone interviews were conducted Jan. 8–20, 2014, and included U.S. adults 18 years of age or older. The online surveys were conducted between Jan. 28–Feb. 5, 2014. For full survey information, please contact Christine Cape or Christy Lynn Wilson at 770.813.0000.
iFull results of American Bible Society’s 2014 State of the Bible survey are available at TheStateoftheBible.com
iiBible engaged are those who:
- Believe the Bible is the actual or inspired Word of God with no factual errors, or believe the Bible is the inspired Word of God with some factual errors; and
- Read the Bible daily or at least four times per week.
iiiBible friendly are those who:
- Believe the Bible is the actual or inspired Word of God with no factual errors; and
- Read it fewer than four times per week.