fbpx
59.1 F
Spokane
Friday, May 17, 2024
HomeNewsOnline, offline faith go hand in hand

Online, offline faith go hand in hand

Date:

Related stories

FāVS Religion News Roundup: May 17

Get the latest religion news with FāVS. Discover upcoming events, concerts, and talks happening in your area.

Join the Conversation: FāVS Event Tackles Faith & Free Thinking

Join FāVS News for its second Pizza & Panel event on May 18, this time on the Palouse! A Zoom option is available for this living outside the area.

Spokane vigil remembers Palestinian Nakba, calls for peace in Gaza

Remembering Nakba Day: A solemn vigil held in remembrance of the Palestinian displacement in 1948 and reflection on the current conflict in the Gaza Strip.

1,200 Jewish professors urge Senate to reject antisemitism definition

Discover why 1,200 Jewish university professors are opposing the codification of a controversial definition of antisemitism into federal law.

Whitworth announces Liz Cheney to headline leadership forum Oct. 9

Whitworth University's President's Leadership Forum to welcome Liz Cheney for a timely conversation on American Democracy Oct. 9.

Our Sponsors

spot_img
spot_img

[todaysdate]
religionElectronicMedia1(RNS) God bless online media. Almost half of U.S. adults (46 percent) say they saw someone sharing “something about their faith” on the Internet in the last week.

And one in five (20 percent) say they were part of the Internet spiritual action on social networking sites and apps — sharing their beliefs on Facebook, asking for prayer on Twitter, mentioning in a post that they went to church.

“The sheer number of people who haveseen faith discussed online is pretty striking,” said Greg Smith, associate director of religion research for Pew Research Center.

Megachurch pastors have mega-followings online. Joel Osteen of Lakewood Church streams his Houston services online. Rick Warren of Saddleback Church has 1.8 million likes on his Facebook page. And Pope Francis has more than 4.6 million English-language followers, chiefly American, for his @Pontifex Twitter feed.

Not only do religious people find faith online; so do 50 percent of the “nones” — people who claim no denominational identity, from atheists to the vaguely spiritual. And 7 percent of nones say they have posted online comments. David Silverman of American Atheists, tweeting @MrAtheistPants, has more than 29,000 followers.

Yet, all this digital discussion of faith does not appear to be a substitute for offline activities such as attending church, said Smith.

The survey on “Religion and Electronic Media,” released by Pew on Thursday (Nov. 6), found that 40 percent also reported sharing their faith in a real-world setting.

“It’s the people who attend church most often who are most likely to engage in online religious activity,” said Smith.

The two groups with the highest church attendance led the way online. Among white evangelicals, 34 percent said they shared faith online and 59 percent did so in person. Black Protestants were also avid about sharing their faith: 30 percent shared online and 42 percent in person.

The survey also measured faith participation and “old media,” finding:

  • 23 percent watched religious television.
  • 20 percent listened to religious talk radio.
  • 19 percent listened to Christian rock.

Old-media fans were older, too. People over age 50 were twice as likely as those younger to watch religious TV.

And new media — online sites and apps — drew 58 percent of people younger than age 50 but only 31 percent of their elders.

The survey did not offer any trend data. It was the first time Pew Research’s religion project investigated this question.

But the findings dovetail with a 2011 survey by the Pew Research Internet Project. That survey, “Civic Engagement of Religiously Active Americans,” found these believers are also “joiners” — highly engaged not only in religious life but also in civic and charitable activities.  And they are just as involved in technology and online activities as anyone else.

The new survey on electronic media, with 3,217 participating, was conducted online and by mail May 30-June 30 using a randomly selected, nationally representative American Trends Panel. The margin of error is plus or minus 2.2 percentage points.

Cathy Lynn Grossman
Cathy Lynn Grossmanhttp://wwww.favs.news
Cathy Lynn Grossman is a senior national correspondent for Religion News Service, specializing in stories drawn from research and statistics on religion, spirituality and ethics, and manager for social media.

Our Sponsors

spot_img
spot_img

2 COMMENTS

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
2 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Eric Blauer
Eric Blauer
9 years ago

I get so much flak for communicating and interacting with people online even though the numbers show people are looking for these interactions. Pastoral care extends into the these spheres. It’s a growing sector of the pastoral ministry of spiritual direction, evangelism, apologetics and hospitality.

Hyphen
Hyphen
9 years ago

Only 46%? I’m really surprised it’s not higher.

2
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x