A study released by the Association of Statisticians of American Religious Bodies (ASARB) covering the religious affiliations by region of the country ranked Texas as the 14th most Christian state, with more than 53 percent of Texans identifying themselves as members of a Christian religion. Not surprisingly, the majority of the states on the most-Christian list were in the South, with the exception of Utah, which was number one thanks to its large Mormon population -- though there are plenty of Christians who don't think Mormonism fits into their definition of Christianity.
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The study bases its numbers on what ASARB defines as "adherents," or those who belong to congregations. The group believes this is the most accurate way to determine members of a particular faith.
In the same study, Houston ranks ninth on the list of most religious cities (all religions, not just Christianity), bested only by one other city in Texas, Dallas, which came in eighth. San Antonio was number 12 and Austin a distant 35.
For Texas, there are 53,525 Christian adherents per every 100,000 persons, according to the study. The Houston metro area, which includes Sugar Land, Baytown and surrounding communities, pulls in just over 55 percent of its population as "religious" rather than specifically Christian, with 55,144 religious adherents per every 100,000 persons.
The study also revealed that less than 50 percent of the U.S. population can be identified as Christian adherents, and that Islam is the second-largest religion in Texas and fastest-growing in the nation.