Though not as important as it is to many other Americans, the Pew U.S. Religious Landscape Survey discovers. A healthy majority–61%–of UUs consider religion to be somewhat or very important in their lives. On the other hand, 34% said that religion isn’t important. The overall American population, meanwhile, considers religion important 82% of the time. Here we begin to see some definite gaps between UUs and their neighbors. Not only is there a big jump from the 61% of UUs to the 82% of non-UUs, but the UUs were the least likely of any religious group to consider religion to be important to their lives. A majority still felt otherwise, but that’s nonetheless a significant finding.
UUism drops even further when we begin to look at practices, rather than beliefs. 61% of UUs may affirm that religion is important, but they certainly don’t think church is: only 31% attend services even as often as once per month, meaning that the only organized religious group in America with less regular corporate participation (even taking a very liberal definition of “regular”) than UUs are Reform Jews, at 22%. But even that number is misleading, because Reform Judaism has strong traditions of family worship and much more explicit everyday individual shared practices that can substitute for group worship. Meanwhile, 54% of overall Americans attend monthly or more often.
Actual number of UUs who attend church weekly or more than weekly: 15%, less than half of the 39% of overall Americans who attend regularly.