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African-Americans are the most religiously devout racial group in the nation when it comes to attending services, praying and believing that God exists, according to a recent profile.

Compared to the rest of the U.S. population, which is generally considered highly religious, African-Americans engage in religious activities more frequently and express higher levels of religious belief, Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life highlighted in a report released in time for Black History Month.

The center’s U.S. Religious Landscape Survey, conducted in 2007 on more than 35,000 people, found that 79 percent of African-Americans say religion is very important in their lives while 56 percent of all U.S. adults said the same. Even among African-Americans who are unaffiliated with any particular faith, 45 percent of them say religion is very important compared to 16 percent of the religiously unaffiliated population overall.

Among the various racial and ethnic groups, African-Americans are the most likely to say they belong to a formal religious affiliation. An overwhelming 87 percent of African-Americans identify with a religious group, according to the U.S. Religious Landscape Survey by the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life.

Following close behind are Latinos, with 85 percent of its population associating with a religion. In comparison, 83 percent of the overall U.S. population report affiliation with a religion.

Nearly six out of ten African-Americans (59 percent) say they belong to a historically black Protestant church, according to the study. The next most popular affiliation is Evangelical Protestant churches (15 percent).

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