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A third of Americans believe being Christian is a big part of being American
A member of the US Secret Service (L) looks through a pair of binoculars from atop The National Cathedral during the National Prayer Service attended by US President Donald Trump on January 21, 2017, in Washington, DC. / AFP / ZACH GIBSON (Photo credit should read ZACH GIBSON/AFP/Getty Images)

A third of Americans believe being Christian is a big part of being American

A recent poll by PEW Research Center asked U.S. citizens what was important when being considered an American.

Overwhelmingly, 70 percent of Americans believed that being able to speak English was "very important," followed by sharing American customs and traditions at 45 percent.

More interestingly, 32 percent of Americans thought being Christian was "very important," with 19 percent thinking it was "somewhat important."

Of course, as FiveThirtyEight explains, this division is split down political lines.

There was also a partisan divide: Around 43 percent of Republicans surveyed by Pew felt that Christianity was an important part of being an American, versus 29 percent of Democrats and 26 percent of independents. Exit polls show Trump won 80 percent of white born-again and evangelical Christian voters and smaller majorities among all other denominations of Christianity.

During the 2016 elections, the evangelical vote supported then President-elect Donald Trump over Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton by a wide margin with 58 percent going to Trump, and only 39 percent going to Clinton. So that the party split in regards to the importance of religion is hardly surprising.

Of the 14 nations surveyed, the United States actually places third in terms of being a Christian considered a matter of importance when it comes to national identity, coming behind Greece and Poland.


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