California Has a Bible Belt

Paul Micu | November 12, 2016

There is a section of California that might surprise you. There are no sunny beaches, no suspension bridges, no silicon businesses, no star-studded Beverly Hills mansions. But central California has more “Starbucks Bibles” than southern and northern California combined.

Here’s what I mean by Starbucks Bibles: walk into most any central California Starbucks and you’re likely to find someone sitting with an open Bible next to his or her Grande Americano. And as you take a seat, it wouldn’t be odd to overhear conversations between male accountability partners, older women mentoring younger women, or church leaders discussing Sunday services. I’ve seen pastors conducting premarital counseling sessions. And then there’s the sermon-prepping pastor sipping his pour over as he pores over a commentary.

Welcome to central California.

California’s Bible Belt

California is not exactly known for being
 religious. asks, “How religious is your state?” Alabama sits at the top, New Hampshire at the bottom, and California is 35th. When it comes to central California, however, it’s a different story. While the types of churches here span a broad range of denominations and belief systems, the area is known for its conservative evangelicalism. As a result, there is a distinct religious, cultural, and political climate…

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