Worship habits among Black Christians in the South, where African-American churches date back to the 1770s, have long differed from practices of Black Americans in other parts of the United States.
Today, there are few regional differences among Black Americans when it comes to worship styles, but Black Southerners differ somewhat from other Black Americans – especially Northeasterners and Westerners – in other ways when it comes to religion, according to a recent Pew Research Center report based on a survey of 8,660 Black U.S. adults.
For example, Black Southerners are more likely than Black Americans living elsewhere to be part of a Black congregation.
The religious experience of Black Southerners stands out in other ways, too.
Protestantism, which is the most common faith among Black Americans in all four regions of the country, is most prevalent among Black Americans in the South (72 percent). That compares with 65 percent of Black adults in the Midwest, 58 percent in the West and 54 percent in the Northeast.
The Northeast has relatively high shares of Black Catholics and adherents of non-Christian religions compared with the South; 11 percent of Black Northeasterners are Catholic, compared with 5 percent of Black Southerners.
A similar pattern can be seen when looking at religious service attendance and frequency of prayer. More than a third of Black Southerners (37 percent) say they attend worship services at least once a week, compared with roughly three-in-ten Black adults in the Midwest (31 percent) and about a quarter in the West (26 percent) and Northeast (25 percent).
About seven-in-ten Black Southerners (69 percent) say they pray daily, compared with six-in-ten in the Midwest and just over half in the Northeast (54 percent) and West (51 percent) and when it comes to the importance of religion, U.S. adults overall in the South are more likely than Black people in other regions to say the Bible is the literal Word of God.
Source: Pew Research Center