Nearly 47 million U.S. residents age five or older are not native English
speakersthats nearly one out of five residents. The most commonly spoken
languages other than English are Spanish and Chinese dialects.
28.1 million Spanish2 million Chinese1.6 million French1.4 million German1.2 million Tagalog, official language of the Philippines
28.1 million Spanish
2 million Chinese
1.6 million French
1.4 million German
1.2 million Tagalog, official language of the Philippines
Source: USA Today, October 24, 2003
Destination: heaven or hell?
illustration by mark herron
When asked where they would spend eternity, 64 percent of U.S. adults
believe they will go to heaven. Five percent believe they will come back to
life in another form and five percent contend they will simply cease to exist.
Even though 81 percent of adults believe in some sort of afterlife, 24 percent
have no idea what will happen after they die. Only half of one percent expect
to go to hell after their death.
81% U.S. adults who believe in an afterlife of some
76% Adults who believe heaven exists
71% Adults who believe there is such a thing as hell
Source: The Barna Update, October 21, 2003
TV viewers dont speak out
While television networks continue to push the envelope on what is
acceptable for television, TV Guide asked viewers their thoughts. When asked if
they had noticed an increase in offensive material on television lately, 57
percent of respondents said yes and 71 percent of those polled said they had
actually switched channels because they had found a shows material too
offensive. However, only 8 percent said they had ever called a network to
complain about offensive material.
Randall Murphree, a spokesman for the TV watchdog group American Family
Association, told TV Guide that he is puzzled by the lack of opposition to
network TVs offensive material. We grow desensitized to things in our culture
gradually, and we reach a point where we think, Im overwhelmed, and I get the
feeling my voice wont be heard no matter how loud I scream.
Source: TV Guide, August 2, 2003
Twentysomethings put church
on the backburner
Americans in their 20s are significantly less likely than any other age
group to attend church services, donate, be committed to Christianity, read the
Bible or serve as volunteers in churches, says a survey by the Barna Research
Group. Only 31 percent of twentysomethings attend church in a typical week.
Many of those absent from church were active as teenagers. The study found that
from high school graduation to age 25 there is a 42 percent drop in weekly
church attendance and a 58 percent decline from age 18 to age 29. This
represents about 8 million twentysomethings alive today who were active
churchgoers as teens but will no longer be active in church by their 30th
Source: Charisma News Service, October 2, 2003
U.S. families are in crisis
Speaking at a Kingdom Families conference, Tom Elliff, pastor of First
Southern Baptist Church, Del City, Oklahoma, noted the overwhelming evidence in
the breakdown of families.
Each day in the U.S. more than 3,500 families are devastated by divorce.
Americas divorce rate is now more than double the rate of 1960.
Currently, more marriages are terminated by divorce than by the death of a
One million children a year see their parents divorce.
More than 50 percent of the children in Americas public schools live in
35 percent of Americas children live apart from their biological
50 percent of children who live apart from their biological fathers have
never stepped foot in their fathers house.
Children in single-parent homes have a 300 percent greater possibility of a
negative life outcome than children raised in homes where both parents are
In the past 40 years, pregnancies out of wedlock have increased 600
Fewer than 40 percent of married couples claim to be very happy.
Among evangelicals, Internet pornography is now a major factor in the
dissolution of families and departure from ministry.
Personal bankruptcies are at an all-time high in America. Tithing and giving
are becoming practices that are lost to succeeding generations.
The majority of children in America have fewer than 10 minutes of
significant and meaningful conversation with their parents each week.
Source: Facts & Trends, November 2003
Religious investors consider ethics
Investors who define themselves as religious are breaking the stereotype of
only being narrowly concerned about traditional sin issues, such as pornography
and abortion products when considering investments.
While certain sin stocks are still taboo to most religious investors, many
are also influenced by a companys ethics or lack thereof.
Two-thirds of U.S. religious investors said they would consider casting out
a mutual fund with holdings in one or more companies implicated in unethical
practices while half said they would definitely dump them.
Almost half (46 percent) of these investors said the recent spate of
corporate shady behavior influenced them to consider their religious beliefs
and values more seriously when making investment decisions.
Source: Plansponsor.com, November 12, 2003
What about vampires?
Americans belief in angels far outweighs their belief in ghosts and witches.
While 78 percent say angels exist, fewer than four in 10 believe that ghosts
and witches exist.
Angels 78 %
Ghosts 34 %
Witches 24 %
Source: USA Today, October 31, 2003
ILLUSTRATIONS BY MARK HERRON
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