64% in US use Internet for religious reasons
82 million Americans - or nearly two-thirds of those online - are now using the Internet for religious, faith or spiritual reasons, according to a new study.
The research, carried out by the Pew Internet & American Life Project, represents a substantial increase on the organisation's previous studies.
Those who use the Internet for religious or spiritual purposes are more likely to be women, white, middle aged, college educated, and relatively well-to-do.
The online faithful are somewhat more active as Internet users than the rest of the Internet population. On a typical day, 63% of them are online. Some 56% of them have been online for six years or longer. And 60% have broadband connections somewhere in their life (at home or at work), compared to 54% of all Internet users.
Pew Internet's summary notes that the "online faithful" are devout and they use the Internet for personal spiritual matters more than for traditional religious functions or work related to their places of worship. But their faith-activity online seems to augment their already-strong commitments to their congregations.
Nearly two-thirds in US use Internet for religious reasons (Ecumenical News International 18/5/04)
Report: Summary of Findings (Pew Internet & American Life)
Pew Internet & American Life | Faith Online Report (PDF) | (HTML)
19 May 2004