According to the American Bible Society and the Barna Group, our city is number one for Godliness. That’s right: Chattanooga has been ranked #1 in the official list of the most “Bible-Minded” cities in America. It’s a jump from last year’s ranking at number 3, taking Knoxville, last year’s top city, down to the number ten slot. Surprised? Apparently we Chattanoogans can be credited for doing the most regular Bible reading, with deep beliefs in religious history and accuracy.
After a seven-year study of interviews of more than 46,000 individuals, we’re said to be the most “Bible-minded” city despite our fairly small population. The least devout city is claimed by Providence, Rhode Island, just one of the many East Coast cities that round out the far end of the list.
The American Bible Society claims, “We want people to know that whether you live in the least or most Bible-minded cities, the Bible can speak to your needs, challenges and concerns and help you make sense of your life.” Guess they should start reminding those East Coasters before they start another seven-year study.
Religious followers are certainly spread out all over the U.S., but it’s clear the Bible Belt has a pretty dense crowd of believers and church-goers. Despite Chattanooga sitting comfortably near the buckle of the Bible Belt, it is still a city in a not-so-safe state. Perhaps that’s why we find ourselves reaching for our Bibles so often.
— Leith Tigges