Pew Forum on the ‘Zeal of the Convert’

A new study by the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life finds that “overall, people who have switched religions consistently exhibit higher levels of religious commitment than those who still belong to their childhood faith, but the differences are relatively modest.”

The analysis finds that people who have switched faiths (or joined a faith after being raised unaffiliated with a religion) are indeed slightly more religious than those who have remained in their childhood faith, as measured by the importance of religion in their lives, frequency with which they attend religious services and other measures of religious commitment. However, the analysis also finds that the differences in religious commitment between converts and nonconverts are generally very small and are more apparent among some religious groups than others.

I don’t see anything specifically here about Orthodox Christians, but you may find parallels. Key findings:

* Slightly more than two-thirds of converts (69%) say religion is very important to them, compared with 62% of nonconverts.

* Half of converts (51%) attend worship services at least once a week, compared with 44% of nonconverts.

* More than eight-in-ten converts (82%) believe in God with absolute certainty, compared with 77% of nonconverts.

* Seven-in-ten converts (70%) pray every day, compared with 62% of nonconverts.

* About three-in-ten converts (29%) say they share their views on God with others at least once a week, compared with two-in-ten nonconverts (20%).

* And slightly more than one-quarter of converts (27%) say theirs is the one true faith, compared with 22% of nonconverts.

Read The “Zeal of the Convert”: Is It the Real Deal? over at Pew.


  1. Unfortunately what we say does not equal what we do.

    What convincing evidence do we have that we can trust our self-analysis? Really it is meaningless.

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