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Spirit & Eco-Community

24 percent of Americans read religious books

The Barna survey compares to a Gallup poll that found 24 percent of Americans were "very likely" to have read books o­n religion and theology within the last year. In fact, among 13 categories of books, the genre of religion and theology scored third in the Gallup poll, with biographies or books about history ranking first (30 percent) and thriller or suspense novels second (25 percent). Self-improvement books ranked just under religion and theology in the Gallup poll at 23 percent.

Ken Stephens said he believes people are interested in books o­n spirituality because "as humans, we are all by nature spiritual beings."

In fact, the Barna study revealed that many people not affiliated with Christianity had read at least o­ne Christian book other than the Bible in the last year. That includes o­ne-sixth or 17 percent of atheist/agnostic adults polled, o­ne-fifth or 20 percent of those who don't attend church, o­ne-third or 34 percent of those who don't consider themselves born again, and half or 46 percent of adults associated with a faith other than Christianity.

The Barna study also revealed, of adults who purchased Christian books in the last year:

--75 percent were evangelicals;
--48 percent were political conservatives;
--47 percent were non-evangelical born-again Christians;
--46 percent were adults who attend church regularly;
--45 percent were African American;
--44 percent were women;
--44 percent had been divorced;
--43 percent were Protestant; and
--32 percent were Catholic.