Dispatch from America’s Most Bible-Minded City

| January 30, 2015


BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Historically Birmingham has been notorious for its divisions. Martin Luther King Jr. targeted Alabama’s largest city for protest marches because, as he told President John F. Kennedy, it was “by far the worst big city in race relations in the United States.” Thanks to King and his marchers, racial segregation has long since ended. To be sure, many of the same divisions persist along geographic and economic lines. But now the city’s attention focuses on more benign rivalries, particularly between the University of Alabama and Auburn University’s football teams. 

Then and now, only one thing transcends black and white, crimson and orange in Birmingham. Love for the Bible. Last week the American Bible Society (ABS) announced that Birmingham is the most “Bible-minded” city in the United States. Using survey data from the Barna Group, ABS said that 51 percent of the Birmingham metro area’s population read the Bible in an average week and firmly agree that the Bible is accurate in what it teaches. The findings weren’t particularly surprising; last year Birmingham came in second behind Chattanooga, Tennessee, only a two-hour drive northeast through America’s Bible Belt. The proportion of Bible-minded Birmingham residents nearly doubled the national


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