One out of four adult American Internet users have sought out religious or spiritual information online, according to a study released Dec. 23 by the Pew Internet and American Life Project. Up from 2 million last year, the number is now more than 3 million-more popular than other online activities such as banking, gambling or stock trading, as reported by Reuters, and Yahoo! News.
"But churches and synagogues are unlikely to empty out any time soon," remarked Elena Larsen, the report author. "...Almost all of them already belong to some sort of congregation."
The study found that those engaged in religious activities online are more likely to search for educational or reference material (69%), or research other faiths (50%), offer spiritual advice through email (35%), or seek it out (21%). Those most active online also are most active in their congregations, she added. "The Internet is not likely to change the views of the 14% with no religious affiliation...it's augmenting users' religious lives."
Religion Today Summaries