Washington Post survey: 9 in 10 turn to faith in tough times
A new nationwide survey conducted by The Washington Post and Kaiser Family Foundation reveals that Black women are among the most religious people in the country. The poll found that 74 percent of Black women and 70 percent of Black men said that “living a religious life” is very important. On that same question, the number falls to 57 percent of white women and 43 percent of white men.
But in times of turmoil, about 87 percent of Black women — much more than any other group — say they turn to their faith to get through.
Georgetown law student Melanie Habwe Dickson was waiting to make her first argument in front of a judge. She calmed her nerves by pulling out her cellphone and finding an excerpt from her weekly Bible study group. God had spoken thought Dickson, 25.
Clearly, according to the poll, the majority of white women are also believers. But cultural influences probably account for the racial gap, said Cheryl Townsend Gilkes, a professor of sociology and African American studies at Colby College in Maine.
Other survey findings include:
- 74% of Black women say “living a religious life” is very important to them, versus 70% for black men, 57% for white women, and 43% for white men.
- When it comes to getting through tough times, 87% of Black women said faith in god is “very important,” compared to 79% of Black men, 66% of white women, and 51% of white men.
- About a quarter of Black women said religion wasn’t that important to them, with only 2% saying “not at all.”
Regardless of their brand of faith, many Black women are taking their religion out of the institutional halls of worship and into living rooms and basements, where they gather to socialize, pray and share their issues with like-minded sisters. They are also using technology to host weekly prayer conference calls, in which they discuss their problems concerning money, relationships and family.