How Does Technology Influence Religion and Spirituality?

Influencing religion and spirituality, technology introduces new dimensions to faith practices, from scripture apps to online engagement, shaping modern religious experiences.

The Internet has dramatically impacted all areas of human life, including religious practices. It allows people to stream services, engage in online prayer groups, and use apps and websites to read scripture and learn about their faith.

However, traditional methods are still more popular among devout individuals. For instance, a significant majority of very religious U.S. adults prefer reading printed religious books over watching related content online. They are also more likely to listen to religious radio than podcasts and prefer attending scripture study groups in person over participating online.

Despite this preference for traditional formats, digital technology has made substantial inroads among the highly devout, defined as those who attend weekly services, pray daily, and hold religion as very important in their lives. About half of these individuals use digital tools to assist with scripture reading and to search for religious information online. Furthermore, nearly a third use technology to help remind them to pray.

About three in ten, including non-religious individuals within the broader U.S. adult population, use the Internet to explore religious topics. Approximately 21% use digital tools for scripture reading and 20% for watching religious videos on platforms like YouTube or TikTok. Additionally, 14% rely on apps to remind them to pray.

Regarding demographic trends, members of historically Black Protestant denominations are more engaged with digital technology for religious activities than other groups. While digital tool usage is common among younger adults, those 65 and older are less likely to use these technologies for spiritual purposes. Notably, the usage disparity increases among the highly religious, with younger age groups showing significantly higher engagement with Church Notes and Bible Note Taking Apps.

Further details on the scale of religious technology usage can be found in the report's Overview. Additionally, the survey reveals that 17% of U.S. adults have modified their social media interactions due to religious content by unfollowing, unfriending, blocking, or adjusting settings to see less from specific individuals. Conversely, a smaller percentage (3%) report being unfollowed or blocked by others for posting religious content. The survey also explored using apps for activities like meditation and expressing gratitude, which are considered spiritual by some, with 18% of adults using such apps or websites for these purposes.

About 40% of Americans have utilized apps or websites to assist with religious activities such as praying, reading scripture, meditating, or fostering gratitude.

Around four in ten Americans have used apps or websites to support spiritual practices, like praying or reading scripture. Around 20% of U.S. adults use these tools occasionally for tasks such as scripture reading, meditation, showing gratitude, or praying, with more than a third of U.S. adults engaging with these tools for at least one of these purposes. The frequency of using these digital aids varies, with about one in ten U.S. adults using them daily for reading scripture, praying, or being grateful, and 5% for meditation.

Members of historically Black Protestant denominations show higher engagement with religious apps and websites compared to the broader U.S. adult population. They are over twice as likely to use such digital tools for scripture reading (47% versus 21%). Approximately one-quarter of these individuals use these apps daily for scripture reading or prayer. Overall, 59% of adults within this tradition report using these technologies for at least one religious activity.

Evangelical Protestants are particularly active in using apps and websites for scripture reading, with 39% engaging in such practices, including 18% who do so daily. Additionally, they frequently use apps for prayer at rates higher than many other groups. In contrast, Jewish individuals are less likely to use these technologies for worship, with only 7% doing so, which is lower than most other sizable U.S. religious groups.

About half of U.S. adults with solid religious commitments report using apps or websites to aid their scripture reading, with nearly a third doing so daily. Additionally, 28% of these highly religious individuals use apps for prayer, with 18% using them daily. Across different ethnic groups, Black Americans are more likely to use these digital tools for scripture reading and prayer than other groups, with 41% of Black adults, 25% of Hispanic adults, 18% of Asian adults, and 17% of White adults using them.

Engaging with Religious Leaders Online

Currently, 11% of U.S. adults monitor or follow their religious leaders online or on social media. Similarly, around 10% pay attention to celebrities, authors, or pastors specifically for their religious contributions online.

Among those connected to historically Black Protestant churches, a significant portion, 26%, use the Internet or social media to follow their religious leaders. In comparison, 23% follow other celebrities or authors for their spiritual content. Evangelical Protestants are another group actively engaging online, with approximately 20% digitally following their clergy or creators of religious content.

Exploring Religious Information Online

The survey examined how frequently Americans turn to the Internet for religious information. It found that three in ten U.S. adults engage in this activity, including 9% who search weekly or more, 11% monthly, and 10% less often. Yet, a significant majority, 70%, do not seek religious information online.

Among specific religious groups, 15% of individuals affiliated with evangelical Protestant denominations or historically Black Protestant churches search for religious information online weekly. In contrast, only 3% of those religiously unaffiliated do so.

When considering individuals with a high level of religious commitment, 53% report searching online for spiritual information, including 23% who do this at least once a week.


The intersection of technology, religion, and spirituality paints a complex picture of modern faith practices. While traditional religious activities remain popular, particularly among the most devout, the rise of digital tools has undeniably broadened how people engage with their faith. 

Technology offers opportunities and challenges to religious observance, from scripture-reading apps to online prayer reminders. As these tools become more integrated into daily life, they have the potential to enhance spiritual experiences, making religion more accessible to a technologically savvy generation. 

However, the digital divide and preferences for traditional practices highlight the ongoing balance between innovation and tradition in the religious sphere. As technology continues to evolve, so will its impact on spiritual life, promising new ways for individuals to explore and express their faith in the digital age.