The Most (And Least) Religious Cities In America

Neal Pollard

Adrian Garcia, in a Denver Post blog article, reported “Boulder one of the least religious cities in the U.S.” as determined by a new Gallup poll (  It barely finished second to Burlington, Vermont.  The most religious cities, according to the poll, were Provo-Orem, Utah, Montgomery, Alabama, and Jackson, Mississippi.  While the findings are not surprising and seem to reflect the social cultures and philosophies of their locales (as Gallup put it, “America is a remarkably religiously diverse nation, and much of this diversity is geographically based. Residents in some areas and cities — namely, those in the South and in Utah — are two or three times as likely to be very religious as those living in cities in the Northeast, the Northwest, and other Western locations”), I was very interested at how Gallup framed the poll.

See, the poll found that 40 percent of Americans are “very religious,” determined by their saying that religious forms an important part of their lives and that they attend religious services every or nearly every week.  So, we are not talking about people who attend church services every day or who live in cloisters or religious communes.  We are talking about people who see fit to attend an hour a week.  The claim of religion being important to one’s daily life, of course, is subject to “cross-examination” by those who encounter the professed religious each day.  One can say religion is important, but their actions may disprove the claim (cf. Luke 6:46).

Consider this contemplation and challenge.  How important would God say religion is to you and me?  How often does He hear from us in prayer or meet us in the reading of His Word? What does He see from us as we interact with the people in our daily lives–a reflection or rejection of Christ? Who knows that religion plays an important part of our lives? Does that conviction drive us to take every opportunity to worship and study–not just once a week, but each time the “doors are opened”?  Paul wrote, “Do all things without grumbling or disputing; so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I will have reason to glory because I did not run in vain nor toil in vain” (Phil. 2:14-16).

May we build such a relationship with God that all those who encounter us will know how important our service and devotion to Him truly is!


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