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Poll: Religious Americans more trusting

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Poll: Religious Americans more trusting

Those active in their faiths also more optmistic Pew study finds

  • St. Bridget's Church in Jersey City, N.J.
    Steve Kelley/FlickrSt. Bridget's Church in Jersey City, N.J.

Religiously active Americans are more likely to find people trustworthy, are more optimistic and are more active in their communities, according to a Pew Research Center poll.

The Pew Internet & American Life Project released a study Friday on the civic and community life of some 40 percent of Americans who are religiously active. 

Among its findings, the study found 53 percent of religious Americans believe people are trustworthy, compared to 43 percent of nonbelievers.

“Those who are religiously active are more likely to participate in all kinds of groups and more likely to feel good about their communities,” the study’s author Jim Jansen said. “Those who are active in religious groups seem to be joiners.”

Religiously active Americans are twice as likely to volunteer at charitable organizations, and be more engaged in neighborhood associations and community groups.

Their report also looked at digital literacy between religious and non-religious people and found they use the Internet, cell phones and social media at similar rates.

The study showed 79 percent of religious people surf the web compared to 75 percent of those who are not involved with religious groups. Religious Americans are more likely to use their emails compared to those of no faith: 86 percent compared to 80.

“Some analysts have been concerned that those who have active spiritual lives might not be as engaged with the secular world,” noted Jim Jansen, author of the report. “We see the opposite.”

So who’s most likely to be a religiously active American? They will more likely be female, African American and have college educated, according to the study.

Additionally, money has a positive correlation with involvement in religious groups.

People who make an annual household income of at least $75,000 are 38 percent more likely to be involved in a religious or spiritual group than those earn less than $30,000.

The report sampled 2,303 adults and its results are based on data from the Princeton Survey Research Associated International.

This article originally appeared on GlobalPost.

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