And they're leaving faster than men, Barna poll says
Remember the traditional image of women as the more spiritual sex? That's going the way of women as the "fairer" and weaker sex, a new poll indicates.
In his third report on religious changes in America, pollster George Barna says women attend church and Sunday school less since 1991. They also read the Bible less and regard it as less reliable, and consider their faith less important in their lives.
Over the last two decades, women have also become less likely to hold orthodox views of God as the all-knowing creator and ruler of the universe. And they're less likely to see the devil as a real person, considering him more a "symbol of evil."
These and other findings come from Barna's annual January survey, 1,621 randomly chosen adults this year. His full report is posted on his website.
Of the 14 factors in belief and behavior measured through the research, women have changed a lot in 10, the report says. And eight of them represent "negative movement" -- away from religious involvement or biblical teachings.
"No population group among the sixty segments examined has gone through more spiritual changes in the past two decades than women," Barna writes.
Most women still believe in a personal God (70 percent) and a personal devil (56 percent), and that their religious faith is very important to them (63 percent). But all those rates have slid since 1991.
Ironically, 44 percent of American women -- 6 percent higher than two decades ago -- say they've undergone a spiritual change that remains important to them today, a spiritual stance Barna calls being born again. Women are apparently getting religion, but not from church or Sunday school.
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SOURCE: Sun Sentinel
James D. Davis