Text size

a | A


Christianity largest religion amongst Asian-Americans

Author: Admin
Date: 19th July 2012

Christianity is the largest religious faith among the 18 million Asian-Americans, according to new research.

The study, carried out by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life found that 42pc of all Asian Americans were Christian. Buddhism was the religion with the second highest percentage of adherants, with 14pc.

But those who said they belonged to no faith in particular were the second largest group, with 17pc. Atheists added another eight percent to the figure showing once again that those who are not religiously affiliated are frequently not atheists.

The study is thought to be the first comprehensive look at the religious lives of Asian Americans.

Asian Americans are "the fastest-growing race group, and they are bringing with them a diversity of faiths," says Cary Funk, the senior researcher at Pew.

The survey of 3,511 adults, conducted in English and seven Asian languages, was large enough to establish data about the six largest groups: Chinese, Filipino, Indian, Vietnamese, Korean and Japanese.

It found that 40 pc of Korean Americans are evangelical Protestants.

A bare majority of Chinese Americans (52pc) are unaffiliated, while over two thirds of Filipino Americans, 65pc, are Catholic.

A majority of Indian Americans are Hindu (51pc), and most Korean Americans are Protestant (61pc). Buddhists dominate among Vietnamese Americans (43pc). Japanese Americans are more diverse: 33pc Protestant, 32pc unaffiliated and 25pc Buddhist.

By comparison, 62.7 of Asian people living in Ireland are Christian, with 29pc identifying as Catholic, according to Census data. Sixty percent of Indians living in Ireland are Christian, while 40pc identify as Catholic.

Filipinos in Ireland are overwhelmingly Catholic with 84.5pc identifying as such, while nearly three quarters (72pc) of Chinese people living in Ireland say they have no religion.

Nearly all Pakistanis (97pc) are Muslim.

According to the Pew study, Asian-American Christians are particularly devout: Three out of four Asian-American evangelical Protestants (76pc) say they attend church weekly, compared with 64pc of U.S. white evangelicals. They are also distinctly more likely to say their religion is the "one true faith" (72pc vs. 49pc).

The new research complements a study on Asian Americans' socio-economic and political lives, drawn on the same survey and released in June by the Pew Research Center.

The earlier data detailed that Asians are by far the most educated, wealthy, family-oriented group in America.

More related news articles


Follow Iona on Twitter