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Rural People Don’t Practice Religion More than their Urban Counterparts, Survey Shows

Posted on AllSides October 23rd, 2023
From The Center
Grace Galligan on Unsplash

The notion of a hyper-religious rural America, one that stands in direct contrast to a modern and secularizing urban America, is pervasive. But the numbers just don’t support that stereotype. 

Factors like income, race, partisanship, age, and education influence religious attendance more than geography does.

During my first semester of graduate school, I wrote a paper criticizing how National Geographic portrayed rural Appalachia. Without fail, National Geographic photographers always drew attention to the religious life of Appalachian communities — rural preachers, river baptisms, and little country churches. 

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