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CyberFaith: How Americans Pursue Religion Online

TitleCyberFaith: How Americans Pursue Religion Online
Publication TypeReport
Year of Publication2001
AuthorsLarsen, E

The 25% of Internet users who have searched online for religious information parallel the profile of the American population at large. However, the intensity of religious devotion of “Religion Surfers” distinguishes them from the general population. Some 81% of online Religion Surfers describe their commitment to faith as “very strong,” compared to only 19% of the population as a whole. The top uses of the Internet by Religion Surfers are simply to find information on their own faith or another one. Old-fashioned face-to-face socializing is much more appealing to Religion Surfers than tech-aided interactions with others that are related to faith. In our sample of 500 Religion Surfers, 9% of them had looked for religious or spiritual information via the Internet on the same day we reached them, 26% had gone online for such information within the past week, 29% had made the search within the past month, 26% had made the search in the past six months and 9% had performed the search more than six months ago.