The Black Church’s Enduring Role in America


Rev. William H. Lamar IV leads a Palm Sunday service at the Metropolitan AME Church in Washington, Sunday, March 24, 2024. Lamar says their churches are still feeling the pandemic’s impact on attendance, even as they have rolled out robust online worship options to reach people. (AP Photo/Amanda Andrade-Rhoades)
Reading Time: < 1 minute

(AURN News) – This Easter weekend, as millions of American Christians flock to churches to mark Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday, the significance of the Black church in the nation’s spiritual fabric remains strong. 

According to data from the Pew Research Center, 47.9 million people living in the U.S. identify as Black – a 32% increase from 2000. And while the Black community’s ties to faith institutions appear to be evolving, particularly among younger generations, the Black church’s impact on the journey toward racial equality is widely acknowledged.

Pew’s research also shows that more than half of Black Americans who attend church do so at Black-majority congregations. However, Black Millennials and Gen Z-ers are less likely to rely on prayer, to have grown up in church, or to regularly attend religious services, with 49% of Black Millennials and 46% of Black Gen Z seldom or never attending.  

Still, the Black church’s role in the struggle for civil rights remains strong. Three-quarters of Black Americans surveyed by Pew say that Black churches have played at least “some” part in helping advance equality for Black people, with three in ten stating these institutions have done “a great deal.”

Despite shifting generational attitudes, Black Americans collectively remain the nation’s most religiously devout racial demographic, with 97% professing belief in God.

Click play to listen to the AURN News report from Jamie Jackson:

advanced divider
advanced divider