Portraits of American Life Study
Hosted by The ARDA
The PALS seeks to understand the impact of religion in everyday life, and ultimately the connections between religious change and other forms of change among diverse individuals and families over the course of their lives.

Religious Practices (2006)

Outside of religious worship services, about 60% of the total population read some part of their religious text in the last twelve months.

Of those persons, about 40% read their religious text a few times in the last year; about 20% read it at least once a month; about 25% read it at least once a week; about 15% read it at least once a day.

Prayer at home is often centered around meals. When asked how frequently someone said grace or gave thanks aloud for meals at home, Americans reported . . .

Never27%
A few times in the last year 27%
At least once a month 8%
At least once a week14%
At least once a day 25%


Americans found time for prayer other than before meals and outside of religious services. They reported praying . . .


Never15%
A few times in the last year 15%
At least once a month 15%
At least once a week20%
At least once a day 35%


Did you know…About 40% of Americans have tried to encourage someone to become a member their religion.



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Through out these sections, we invite you to enter the discussion about these findings and what their implications may be. Click on the COMMENT link to send your thoughts to pals@rice.edu. Where appropriate we will include comments for others to read and discuss. Names of contributors will not be posted, but, if you like, include your religious tradition.

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