A Third of Americans Says Being ‘Truly American’ Requires Christian Faith

A new study revealed a third of Americans believe that to be “truly American,” one must be in the Christian faith.
Photo showing the American flag Pixabay

A new study revealed a third of Americans believe that to be "truly American," one must be in the Christian faith.

The study, based on a survey conducted by Pew Research Center, said that 32 percent of Americans claim Christianity is an important aspect of national identity.

"About a third (32%) of Americans say it is very important for a person to be a Christian in order to be considered truly American," the report said.

Additionally, among Americans who believe that religion is important, 51 percent said being a Christian is crucial to being an American. On the other hand, among those who considered religion as "somewhat important," only 11 percent said being a Christian is "very important" to one's national identity.

Certain factors appeared to influence the respondents' perspective on faith and national identity, such as age, gender, religious denomination and education.

Respondents aged 50 and older gave more importance to the role of faith in national identity, with 44 percent saying Christianity is "very important" to being an American, with only 18 percent of younger respondents aged 35 and below believing the same.

Of the male respondents, 27 percent considered religion to play an important role in American identity. On the other hand, of the female respondents, 36 percent believed religion is important to being an American.

Perspectives also varied according to denomination.

"A majority (57%) of white evangelical Protestants say it is very important to be Christian to be a true American," the study said. "Just 29% of white mainline Protestants and 27% of Catholics agree."

"Only 9% of people who are unaffiliated with an organized religion say it is very important for a person to be Christian in order to be truly American," the study said.

Education is also one of the factors that influenced the respondents' view on the subject, with those attaining higher levels of education giving less importance to faith with regard to national identity.

Only 19 percent of those who held a college degree or higher said the Christian faith is very important to being American, while 44 percent of those with high school education or lower said being a Christian is important in order to be an American.

The survey, which was done in 14 countries, revealed that people considered language as central to national identity. Likewise, in the U.S., respondents identified English proficiency as the top characteristic necessary to being truly American.

"Most Americans consider such language facility to be an important attribute of U.S. nationality," the report said. "Fully 70% of the public says that to be truly American it is very important to be able to speak English, and an additional 22% believe proficiency is somewhat important."

Tags : Christianity, christian faith, national identity, being truly American, Pew Research Center, American identity, What It Takes to be Truly 'One of Us', being American, US, language, religion, faith and being American, Christianity and being American