Exceptionalism: Pew poll finds Americans excel in prayer and wealth

by WorldTribune Staff, May 5, 2019

Religious freedom has created an “open religious market” in which Americans pray on a daily basis more than any other wealthy nation, according to the Pew Research Center.

On May 2, the National Day of Prayer, Pew noted that 55 percent of Americans pray daily. The world average is 49 percent and the average of all wealthy nations is 40 percent.

“Many Americans pray every day – not just on the Day of Prayer. Indeed, out of 102 countries examined for frequency of prayer by Pew Research Center, the U.S. is unique in that it has both a high level of wealth ($56,000 per-capita gross domestic product in 2015) and a high level of daily prayer among its population,” said Pew.

In a National Day of Prayer proclamation, President Donald Trump said: “Our nation’s honored tradition of prayer has sustained us and strengthened our trust that God will continue to watch over and accompany us through the best of times and the darkest hours. May we as Americans never forget the power of prayer and the greatness of our Creator. On this National Day of Prayer, let each of us, according to our own faiths, call upon God for His guidance and express our gratitude for the love and grace He bestows on us and our country.”

Daily prayer is much less frequent in other wealthy nations, Pew said. In Canada, just 25 percent pray daily. For Norway, it’s 18 percent.

America’s fight for religious freedom paved the way for the frequency of prayer, Pew said.

“Why does the U.S. have higher self-reported daily prayer than other wealthier countries? Some scholars posit that the lack of government interference in religion in the U.S. has created an open religious ‘market’ – a landscape where different religions enthusiastically compete for new members.”

During a dinner on May 2, Trump said: “Tonight we break bread together united by our love of God and we renew our resolve to protect the sacred freedom of religion.”


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