With the Christmas season here, most Americans say religion is an important part of their lives, but a record low don't think religion can solve all their problems, according to a Gallup poll taken between Dec. 3-12 and released on Christmas Eve.
Among 1,025 American adults:
72 percent said religion is important;
51 percent, very important;
62 percent of Christians said religion is very important;
46 percent said religion does not solve all problems.
The poll also found:
Among those who attend church every week, 81% say religion answers most problems, compared with 58% who attend nearly weekly or monthly and 27% who attend less often than that;
63 percent of Protestants say religion can answer most problems.;
46 percent of Catholics say it answers most problems;
73 percent of people who don't identify with a religion say it is out of date and old-fashioned.
Gallup said the poll shows the long-term decline in the importance of religion in people's lives, noting a 1952 poll showing 75 percent saying religion is very important and 20 percent saying it is fairly important.
The percentages remained about the same in 1965, but by 1978 dropped to 52 percent very important and 32 percent fairly important.
Since then, the numbers have only been higher than 61 percent of people saying religion was very important twice: 64 percent in 2001 after the 9/11 terrorist attacks and 65 percent one year later.
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