Where Do Christians Live?
A newly released study by Barna research examined the faith of people in major US cities. As may have been expected, cities with the highest percentage of Christians are in the South, like Shreveport, Birmingham and Nashville. Cities with the lowest percentage of Christians included San Francisco, Portland, Oregon, and Seattle.
Cities with the highest percentage of atheists or agnostics were concentrated mainly in the West in cities like Portland, Oregon, Seattle, and Sacramento, but also included Portland, Maine.
The study also discovered that weekly attendance in worship services was highest in Southern cities like Birmingham, Baton Rouge, and Huntsville. The lowest percentage of people who attended worship services resided in San Francisco (44%), Portland, Maine (43%), and Portland, Oregon (42%).
People who felt a “responsibility to tell others about their religious beliefs” were most likely to live in Birmingham (64%) and Charlotte (54%). Those who were most reluctant to share their faith resided in Providence (14%) and Boston (17%).
Based on the data, it would be easy to stereotype people living in the South as being mostly Christian, and people living in the West and New England as being more secular. However, nearly three fourths of people living in Western cities consider themselves Christian. And, in most cities, a majority of the population attends worship services to some degree.
The real challenge is making the connection between what we call ourselves and what we practice. In other words, are we Christian in name only? Or is our profession expressed thoroughly by our actions? This has less to do with church attendance and much more to do with having a lifestyle that reflects the nature of Jesus. Gandhi was purported to have said, “I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. They are so unlike your Christ.” We, as followers of Jesus, clearly have an incentive to act out our faith.
Who is the Jesus you are showing to others?
Source: Barna Research