By Aaron Earls
They probably won’t show up to church this week, but the religiously unaffiliated may still pray.
A Pew Research study found 76 percent of Americans say they thanked God for something in the past week. That includes 37 percent of the religiously unaffiliated.
A quarter of nones also say they asked God for help in the past week, while 6 percent say they got angry with Him.
Religious individuals are much more likely to say they’ve turned to God recently, but it’s noteworthy how many of those who claim no faith still report talking to God.
The religiously unaffiliated are broken into two categories: atheists/agnostics and those who are “nothing in particular.” Almost half (48 percent) of those who classify themselves as nothing in particular say they expressed gratitude to God in the past week. A third (32 percent) say they asked God for help.
Even a portion of atheists and agnostics say they thanked God in the past week (18 percent) and asked Him for help (13 percent).
Unsurprisingly, Christians—especially evangelical and black Protestants—are much more likely to say they thanked God and asked Him for help.
Among all Christians, 88 percent say they thanked God and 80 asked Him for help. Among evangelicals, 93 percent offered gratitude and 87 percent asked for help. For black Protestants, 96 percent told God thank you and 91 percent turned to Him for help.
When considering only the highly religious—those who pray every day and go to religious services each week—virtually everyone (99 percent) thanked God and asked for help (98 percent). Some (10 percent) even got angry with God.
Among the not highly religious, 68 percent thanked God for something in the past week, 55 percent asked Him for help, and only 7 percent say they got angry with God.
Aaron is the senior writer at Lifeway Research.