Survey: A third of Asian Americans say religion is very important in their lives

by | Oct 11, 2023 | Religion

(RNS) — More Asian Americans identify as atheist, agnostic or nonreligious than before, according to a survey released Wednesday (Oct. 11) by Pew Research Center. But 40% of those Pew surveyed, who included Americans of Chinese, Filipino, Indian, Japanese, Korean and Vietnamese backgrounds, said they feel close to a religion for reasons aside from religion, such as family or cultural ties. Pew’s survey, which studied over 7,000 participants over the course of a year, found that Asian Americans are part of the ongoing trend of Americans who don’t follow any religion, often referred to as “nones.” Today, 32% of Asian Americans are religiously unaffiliated, compared with 26% in 2012.
Asian Americans as a whole are mostly Christian (34%), especially Korean (59%) or Filipino Americans (74%), who are evenly split between Protestantism and Catholicism (16% and 17%). Born-again or evangelical Protestants make up 10% of Asian Americans.
But it is those Asian Americans who identify as Christians who have shown the sharpest declines in affiliation with religious institutions since 2012, dropping by 8 percentage points. 
Some 56% of Chinese Americans and 47% of Japanese Americans said they are not affiliated with any religion, comprising the largest groups of religious nones. They are also the groups least likely to consider religi …

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