The U.S. cities where Bible reading and prayer are most common are located in the south, according to a Barna Group report published June 2.

Monroe, Louisiana, located in the northern portion of the Pelican State, had the highest reported weekly Bible reading at 64%.

Montgomery, Alabama, was a close second (61%), followed by Tyler-Longview-Lufkin-Nacogdoches, Texas (59%) and Jackson, Mississippi; and Macon, Georgia (both at 58%).

The national average for weekly Bible reading since Barna began polling this question in 2005 is roughly 30%.

Monroe was also the leading city for reported weekly prayer, with 94% of residents doing so.

Evansville, Indiana, was the only outlier in the top five, ranking second at 93%, with the other cities all located in the southern U.S.: Augusta, Georgia (91%); and Tyler-Longview-Lufkin-Nacogdoches, Texas; Montgomery, Alabama; and Florence-Myrtle Beach, Florida, all with 90% of their residents reporting weekly prayer.

Overall, 64% of U.S. adults reported weekly prayer in 2021 – down from 83% in 2012.

Barna compiled data using designated market areas, which the Nielsen ratings company uses instead of a single municipality in some measurement instances.

The margin of error is plus-or-minus 0.4%.

The full report is available here.

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