A consumer marketing survey showed that 54% of Americans believe ``religion plays an important part in my life,'' while 59% held that view among an elite category of ``trend-setters.''
    The survey of 5916 Americans, 10% of them classed as ``trend-setters,'' was conducted by the Brand Futures Group of Young and Rubicam.
    ``Quite simply, God is back,'' said Ira Matathia, the group's CEO.
    The report noted that faith is cropping up in everything from tattoos to teen apparel to the popular ``What Would Jesus Do?'' merchandise.
    Far more Americans rated religion as important than did other national populations surveyed: The Netherlands, 25 percent; United Kingdom, 19 percent; France and Germany, 14 percent. In the American survey, the margin of error was about 5.4 percent.
    AP 11:54am 4/5/99


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