As American society becomes more religiously diverse, the nation’s population has had to grapple with how to define its holidays and celebrations. A recent study by the Barna Group explored Americans’ definition of the Easter holiday, asking a nationwide, representative sample of American adults how they would describe what Easter means to them, personally.
The results indicated that most Americans consider Easter to be a religious holiday, but fewer identify the resurrection of Jesus as the underlying meaning. The study also explored the degree to which Americans are likely to invite an unchurched friend or family member to attend worship service on Easter weekend.
In response to a free-response query, most Americans described Easter as a religious celebration. Two out of every three Americans (67%) mention some type of theistic religious element. Common responses included describing it as a Christian holiday, a celebration of God or Jesus, a celebration of Passover, a holy day, or a special time for church or worship attendance.
However, while a majority of Americans indicated some type of spiritual connection with Easter, the research also showed that a minority of adults directly linked Easter to the Christian faith’s belief in the resurrection of Christ. In all, 42% of Americans said that the meaning of Easter was the resurrection of Jesus or that it signifies Christ death and return to life. One out of every 50 adults (2%) said that they would describe Easter as the most important holiday of their faith.
Even within the religious definitions offered by Americans there is a certain degree of confusion….
Read the rest of the report via The Barna Group – Most Americans Consider Easter a Religious Holiday, But Fewer Correctly Identify its Meaning.