August 7, 2012
White Evangelicals Use Social Media More Than Other Religious Groups
Survey prompts debate on how to best measure online religiosity.
A recent survey suggests that white evangelical Protestants are "significantly more likely than other major religious groups to use technology for religious purposes." The Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) study also suggests that few Americans use social media to interact with faith communities online, though critics say the survey does not accurately measure online religiosity. Case in point: evangelical dominance of Twitter engagement.
According to PRRI, about 20 percent of white evangelicals have noted their church attendance on Facebook or other social networks, compared to 6 percent of white mainline Protestants and 2 percent of Catholics. In addition, 25 percent of white evangelicals said they've downloaded a sermon online or a podcast compared to less than 10 percent of white mainline Protestants.
Almost half of white evangelicals (49 percent) said that their church uses television screens for worship services, compared to 29 percent of white mainline Protestants. Also, 40 percent of white evangelicals said their church has an active Facebook page or a website where people regularly interact.
Just one-quarter of white evangelicals said they don't post their beliefs to Facebook, compared to half of survey respondents.
CT has reported how Christians identify themselves on online social networks and the challenges that come with expressing religious identity in such a limited space.