Divorce rate: Is marriage strengthened by mutual faith in God? Are marriages weak without religion? The Barna Research Group conducted a poll of Americans in 1999 in an attempt to show that religious faith reduces the likelihood of divorce. The results shocked them: Atheists had the lowest average divorce rates (defined as the percentage of people who had been divorced at least once in their lives), at 21%. Christian divorce rates averaged about 24% (higher for “born-again” Christians, ie- fundamentalists, at 27%), and even higher for Jews, at 30%. They also collected racial and geographical data, which showed that the white Southern Baptist fundamentalists have no reason to crow about their “family values”. Not only did the Southern Bible Belt have the highest divorce rate in the country, but whites as a race are the most likely to split: 27%, as compared to 22% for blacks, 20% for Hispanics, and only 8% for Asians like me (and you thought I was just blowing hot air about that “till death do us part” stuff). UPDATE: interestingly enough, Barna Research later edited that article to lump all “non-born-again adults” into a single category, thus “accidentally” obscuring the embarrassing fact that atheists had the lowest divorce rates.