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Rising number of Asian Americans report having no religion, Pew survey shows

A church choir from Seoul performs on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington in 2006. New Pew research indicates that, in America, 59% of Korean Americans identify with Christian affiliation, mostly Protestant. File Photo by Roger L. Wollenberg/UPI
A church choir from Seoul performs on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington in 2006. New Pew research indicates that, in America, 59% of Korean Americans identify with Christian affiliation, mostly Protestant. File Photo by Roger L. Wollenberg/UPI | License Photo

Oct. 11 (UPI) -- A new Pew Research Center survey published Wednesday shows a rising share of Asian Americans say they have no religion, but Christianity is still the largest faith group among Asian Americans.

According to the Pew survey, 32% of Asian Americans are religiously unaffiliated while 34% say they are Christian, a decline of 8% for Christianity among Asian Americans since 2012.

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And the survey found 40% of Asian Americans say they feel close to some religious tradition for cultural or family reasons.

The survey found big differences among various Asian American ethnic groups on religious affiliation.

For Chinese Americans, 56% are not affiliated with any religion. That's the highest percentage of no affiliation among Asian Americans.

Of the Japanese Americans in the survey, 47% reported no religious affiliation, while the survey found three-quarters of Filipino Americans are Christian, mostly Catholic.

Indian Americans are more likely than other Asian groups to be Hindu, with 48% of them declaring that affiliation in the survey.

For Vietnamese Americans, 37% said they were Buddhist, the most likely Asian ethnic group to report being Buddhist.

Korean Americans reported 59% Christian affiliation, mostly Protestant.

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Pew found Chinese Americans and Japanese Americans are the least likely to consider religion very important.

According to Pew, Asian Americans overall are somewhat less likely than the general population to say religion is very important in their lives.

While 41% of Americans overall say religion is very important, just 31% of Asian Americans feel that way, according to the survey.

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