The American Bible Society has listed off the most and least “Bible-minded” cities in the country. Birmingham, Alabama, tops the list as America’s most Bible-friendly city, but the most Godless city might surprise you..
So what makes a person “Bible-minded,” according to the American Bible Society?
The study’s methodology section says, “respondents who report reading the Bible within the past seven days and who agree strongly in the accuracy of the Bible are classified as Bible-minded.”
Under that definition, only 27 percent of Americans qualify. The American Bible Society conducted telephone interviews with 62,896 adults over a 10-year period to find out the percentage of Bible-minded people in America’s 100 largest cities by media market.
As expected, scripture studies are strong in the “Bible belt,” with states like Alabama and Tennessee making multiple contributions to the top of the 100 list. The top five are as follows.
- Birmingham, Alabama
- Chattanooga, Tennessee
- Tri-Cities, Tennessee
- Roanoke/Lynchburg, Virginia
- Shreveport, Louisiana
America’s least Bible-minded cities are a bit more surprising.
When you think of godless (in the Christian sense), some cities naturally come to mind: Los Angeles, Las Vegas, San Francisco. In actuality, the top of the list is Providence, Rhode Island; a city whose name means, “the protective care of God or of nature as a spiritual power.”
Still, San Francisco did make the bottom five:
- Providence, Rhode Island
- Albany, New York
- Boston, Massachusetts
- San Francisco, California
- Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Andrew Hood, managing director of communications at American Bible Society, explained the purpose of city rankings.
“This study provides us with a great starting point to understand where people are interacting with Scripture and what their views are of the Bible. We want to help people continue to grow their engagement with the Bible. Ultimately, we want people to know that, whether they live in one of the most or least Bible-minded cities, the Bible can speak to their needs and challenges and help them make sense of life.”
The 2014 report was the third consecutive study of America’s Most Bible-Minded Cities. The Barna Group was in charge of the research, and they used the Nielsen media market rankings as a proxy for city size.
They continue to find a trend within the data. Small towns and America’s inland are more rigorous in their Bible studies, while larger cities, especially along the coast, tend to stray from Bible teachings.
The full list of Bible-enthusiastic cities can be found here.
[Image via YouTube]