African American Christians score 10 percent higher than all other Christians in spiritual vitality, a new scale of holistic spiritual health the American Bible Society introduced in its 2023 State of the Bible report.
The Spiritual Vitality Gauge (SVG) measures spiritual health through a set of nine concise questions focused on beliefs, practices and faith in action among self-identified Christians, the ABS said July 13 in releasing its findings in the report’s fourth chapter.
The higher score among African Americans, when compared to whites and Hispanic Americans, should not be surprising, the ABS said, as Blacks lead the way on nearly every measure of spiritual life the study uses.
“State of the Bible research shows overwhelmingly that Black Christians lead the way on virtually every desirable metric. This group has a lot to teach the rest of the American church,” the ABS wrote. “People in this group are more likely to attend church weekly, to read the Bible, to be Scripture Engaged, to be ‘Bible Centered,’ and now to display spiritual vitality in their lives.”
Religion has been a source of resiliency for many racial and ethnic groups, the ABS said, referencing a 2020 article from researchers at Case Western University based on a study of historical and contemporary literature. The church’s appeal to Blacks is both spiritual and practical, the Case Western article asserts.
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