A majority (60%) of Black Americans who attend religious services do so at predominantly Black houses of faith, according to a Pew Research Center report published February 16.
By comparison, 25% frequent multiracial and 13% predominantly white / other congregations, with the remaining respondents not providing an answer.
“Black churches / congregations are those where the respondent said that all or most attendees are Black and the senior religious leaders are Black,” Pew explained.
“White or other race churches / congregations are those where the respondent said that most attendees are white, most are Asian, most are Hispanic, or most are of a different (non-Black) race, AND most or all of the senior religious leaders are of the same non-Black race as one another.
“Multiracial churches / congregations are primarily those where the respondent said that no single race makes up a majority of attendees.”
Older generations are more likely to attend majority-Black houses of faith, with 66% of both the Silent Generation (born from 1928-1945) and Baby Boomers (born from 1946-1964) who attend services at least a few times a year doing so.
The number drops to 58% among Generation X (born 1965-1980) and to 53% for both Millennials (born 1981-1996) and Generation Z (born after 1996).
Divergent experiences as children were also seen in the survey results, with 87% of the Silent Generation attending majority-Black houses of faith as children compared to only 64% of Generation Z.
Attending a predominantly Black congregation is most common among Black Protestants, with 67% doing so, compared to only 17% of Black Catholics and 29% of other Christian traditions and non-Christian faiths.
While nearly two-thirds of Black worshippers attend majority-Black houses of faith, almost the same number (63%) of all Black respondents said that finding a similar dynamic at a new congregation “would be not too / not at all important.”
The number was slightly lower (58%) among those currently attending a predominantly Black house of faith.
Similarly, 61% of all Black respondents agreed that “historically Black congregations should diversify.”
The same number (61%) of respondents who frequent majority Black congregations agreed, while affirmation was slightly higher (66%) among those who attend a white / other race congregation or a multi-racial (62%) house of faith.