SALT LAKE CITY, April 27, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Despite a decline in Sabbath observance, Americans continue to value the significance of a day of spiritual rest, according to a new nationwide poll. The new poll, commissioned by the Deseret News and designed by Y2 Analytics and administered by YouGov, surveyed a representative sample of Americans of all religious backgrounds, revisiting questions last asked by Gallup in 1978 about practices and attitudes related to the Sabbath.
The poll is part of the Deseret News' annual Ten Today project, which examines the role of the Ten Commandments in modern life. It asked respondents questions on a range of topics about their personal religious practices and their perceptions of the significance or lack of significance of the Sabbath. (The day of the Sabbath was adjusted according to individual respondents' religious affiliations.) Some of the findings of the poll, which includes 1,000 responses from Americans across racial, religious, gender and age groups plus an oversample of Jews and Mormons, are:
- 50% of Americans say the Sabbath has religious significance for them personally, compared with 74% of Americans polled by Gallup in 1978.
- 62% of Americans agree with the statement that it is important for society to have a day of the week set aside for spiritual rest.
- Millennials are less likely than other generations to consider the Sabbath to have religious meaning. Only 41% believe it does, compared to 51% of Generation X, 56% of Baby Boomers and 58% of the Silent Generation.
- Mormons, evangelical Protestants and black Protestants are most likely to agree that having a day of rest is important personally and societally. Unaffiliated and Jewish respondents are least likely to agree.
- 54% of Americans believe private and public organizations should accommodate a Sabbath-observant individual's beliefs even if it inconveniences the organization.
"With this nationwide survey, we're pleased to contribute rich data to ongoing discussions about Americans' participation in religious life," said Allison Pond, Editor of the Deseret News National Edition. "This project, a part of our annual Ten Today series studying the modern relevance of the Ten Commandments, also highlights the Deseret News' ongoing commitment to robust, research-driven reporting."
The Deseret News will be releasing a content series exploring the study's implications in depth. The series includes:
- An in-depth piece exploring the ways the Sabbath has evolved in significance in America over the past 50 years.
- An article studying the question of if and how employers and other organizations should accommodate individuals who observe the Sabbath.
- A profile of individuals and families with Sabbath-observant beliefs, looking at the practicalities of keeping the Sabbath in the modern world.
The poll results and accompanying articles can be read at national.deseretnews.com/tentoday.
The poll was designed by Paul Edwards, Editor of the Deseret News; Allison Pond, Editor of the Deseret News National Edition and a former Pew Research Center staffer; and Scott Riding and Quin Monson of Y2 Analytics, a research consultancy.
The survey was fielded by the YouGov polling company from April 13-15, 2016. YouGov interviewed 1,691 respondents who were then matched down to a sample of 1,000 to produce the final dataset. (In addition, there was an oversample of 250 Jewish and 250 Mormon respondents.) Respondents were matched to a sampling frame on gender, age, race, education, party identification, ideology and political interest. The frame was constructed by stratified sampling from the full 2010 American Community Survey (ACS) with selection within strata by weighted sampling with replacements. Data on voter registration status and turnout were matched to this frame using the November 2010 Current Population Survey, and data on party identification were then matched from the 2007 Pew Religious Landscape Survey. The margin of error for the survey was plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.
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