22 Religion Survey Questions for Questionnaires

What are Religion Survey Questions?

Religion survey questions is a questionnaire to obtain information about one’s beliefs in a higher power or a religion and to gain insights into the religious factors that influence the choices of the respondents. The term religion refers to a person’s beliefs, an affiliation with an institution, a shared cultural identity or participation in one’s traditional ceremonies or services.

Religion survey questions are used for many purposes, be it by business owners such as restaurant owners, corporate offices or even religious institutions.

For example, a restaurant owner wants to know his customers more. Understanding the customer’s religious beliefs can enable the owner to offer a new menu that would suit the customers need. Similarly, understanding employee’s religious beliefs can enable the company to choose the uniforms for their employees in an appropriate fashion without offending anyone’s feelings.

Another example illustrating the use of religion survey questions can be a survey being conducted to collect feedback about the reasons as to why parishioners attend a church, and to understand if their spiritual needs are being met. In such a case, a Church survey can be helpful to gather such feedback and understand the opinion of people attending that church.

Since religion is personal in nature and is one of the most sensitive demographic questions, respondents may not be willing to share such information. In such a case, the wording of the questions will determine the response rate of the survey and prevent it from being too intrusive.

Similar to other demographic survey questions, the number of religion survey questions that can be asked in a survey, will always depend on the objective of the survey. A survey conducted by religious association or government organizations can have multiple questions on religion to gather in-depth information.  A few sample religion survey questions are as follows:

22 religion survey questions to gain insights about an individual’s religious beliefs

  1. What religious family do you belong to or identify yourself most close to?
    1. Asian Folk Religion
    2. Hindu
    3. Jewish
    4. Muslim
    5. Christian (Catholic protestant or any other Christian denominations)
    6. Other, I am not religious (please specify)
  2. Do you consider yourself to be committed to your religious teachings?
    1. Yes
    2. No
    3. Not sure
    4. N/A
  3. Are you a representative of your religious institution? (tick all that apply)
    1. Yes, I am a part of team leaders
    2. I serve on the council or am a trustee
    3. I preach but don’t have leadership responsibilities
    4. No, I am not a recognized leader
    5. N/A
  4. To what level, do you consider yourself to be religious?
    1. Not religious
    2. Slightly religious
    3. Moderately religious
    4. Very religious
    5. Don’t know
  5. Do you feel being religious and spiritual is different?
    1. Yes
    2. No
    3. Don’t know
  6. To what level, do you consider yourself to be spiritual?
    1. Not spiritual
    2. Slightly spiritual
    3. Moderately spiritual
    4. Very spiritual
    5. Don’t know
  7. How many times do you attend religious services or ceremonies at your place of worship?
    1. Never
    2. Less than once a year
    3. Once or twice a year
    4. Several times a year
    5. Once a month
    6. 2-3 times a month
    7. About once a week
    8. Several times a week
  8. What is your current place of worship called?
  9. How long has it been since you have been visiting your current place of worship?
    1. 1 year or less
    2. 2-4 years
    3. 5-9 years
    4. 10-19 years
    5. 20 or more years
  10. How far is your current place of worship from your home?
    1. 1-5 minutes
    2. 6-15 minutes
    3. 16-30 minutes
    4. 31 – 45 minutes
    5. Over 45 minutes
    6. Don’t know
  11. Have you or your family ever contributed monetarily to your place of worship?
    1. Yes
    2. No
    3. Don’t know
  12. In the last year, how much money have you contributed to your place of worship?
    1. None
    2. $1 – $99
    3. $100 – $499
    4. $500 – $999
    5. $1000 – $2999
    6. $3000 – $4999
    7. $5000 or more
  13. How often do you pray alone? (excluding services/ceremonies at your place of worship)
    1. Never
    2. Once a week
    3. A few times a week
    4. Once everyday
    5. Multiple times a day
    6. Only when I feel the need
  14. Have you ever read the religious scriptures of the religion you follow? (Bible, Qur’an, Torah, Bhagavad-gita)
    1. Yes
    2. No
    3. Don’t know
  15. How often do you read the religious scriptures alone, of the religion you follow?
    1. Never
    2. Less than once a year
    3. Once or twice a year
    4. Several times a year
    5. Once a month
    6. 2-3 times a month
    7. Once a week
    8. Several times a week
  16. Which one statement would you agree about the scriptures of your religion?
    1. It means exactly what it says. It should be taken literally, word to word on all subjects
    2. It is perfectly true but it should not be taken literally, word to word. We need to interpret the meaning
    3. It is not completely true. There are some errors.
    4. It is an old book of historical events and stories
    5. Don’t know
  17. Please state your level of agreement for the following statements about personal belief in God? (Answer option: Completely agree, Somewhat agree, neutral, Somewhat disagree, Completely disagree)
    1. I have no doubt that God exists
    2. I believe in god, but have some doubts
    3. I believe in God, but only sometimes.
    4. I don’t believe in God but in a higher power or cosmic force
    5. I am not sure and there is no way to find it.
    6. I do not believe in god
    7. I have no opinion
  18. In your opinion, how will you describe God? (You can choose multiple options)
    1. Ever-present
    2. Critical
    3. Punishing
    4. Wrathful
    5. Distant
    6. Forgiving
    7. Other (Please specify)
  19. Please state your level of agreement for the following statements? (Answer option: Completely agree, Somewhat agree, neutral, Somewhat disagree, Completely disagree)
    1. God seems impersonal to me
    2. God seems to have no interest in my problems
    3. God knows when I need him
    4. I feel God is responsive to me when I pray enough
    5. When good or bad things happen, I believe they are a part of God’s plan
    6. What my life has to accomplish is already decided by God
    7. I depend on God for help and guidance
    8. God helps me only if I help others
  20. Do you believe there is a place for people after death, who have done good deeds (heaven) and for those who have done bad (Hell)?
    1. Yes
    2. No
    3. Don’t know
  21. Do you think you will go to heaven?
    1. Definitely
    2. Maybe
    3. Not sure
    4. Not at all
    5. I don’t believe in heaven
  22. How often do you turn to your religion to help you deal with problems in your life?
    1. Never
    2. Rarely
    3. Sometimes
    4. Often
    5. Always

Such questions which dig down deep into the individual’s beliefs are required by religious institutions, however, the target audience for such surveys is the people who follow that religion. Hence, a series of religious questions are not intrusive to the respondent. But still, a ‘not sure’ option or ‘prefer not to say’ option gives freedom to the respondent to skip the question completely, if not comfortable to answer.

An example of a single religion survey question, that is most commonly seen in research surveys to gather demographic data to segment the audience, is as follows:

  • What is your religion?
    • Christian (Catholic protestant or any other Christian denominations)
    • Buddhist
    • Hindu
    • Muslim
    • Jewish
    • Sikh
    • No Religion
    • Any other religion (Please specify)

Such a question is the best way to word it, as it is simple to understand, it covers a broader range, and will give you an overview of what religious beliefs the respondent follows. Adding the ‘no religion’ option makes it comfortable for people who do not wish to follow a religion and hence will not skip the survey. Furthermore, the open-ended response allows the respondent to freely write what religion they feel they are closely associated with and gives a feeling of being inclusive.

Simple tips to understand how to ask religion survey questions.

  • Justify your need for the information – Since asking a question on religion can be personal in nature, a researcher has to make sure he can justify, why there is a need for this information. A small paragraph illustrating what the information will be needed for can make the respondent feel comfortable, thus enabling them to answer the question and boosting the response rates.
  • Understand the societal bias – When an individual is asked questions that allow people to judge them especially on moral grounds, the individual will choose to answer the question as taught to him by the society, rather than actual facts of what they do. For instance: if a respondent is asked ‘how many times do you attend mass in a week?’ Such a question can have a bias, as even if the individual does not attend mass, he would still state he does it for maybe 1 time a week or twice. Since society perceives people who attend mass to be a better person than those who don’t, there would be bias. In such cases, the researcher needs to compare the data to any benchmarks that are available to find out the accuracy of the collected data.
  • Not a mandatory question – When including a question on religious beliefs of an individual, the survey owner should keep in mind to allow the respondent to skip the question, if not comfortable. Many respondents will find this as an intrusive question into their personal life and hence, can choose to not answer the survey at all. To avoid such a situation, you can place the religion question at the end of the survey, to be able to get as much information as possible. Also, adding a ‘prefer not to say’ option will give the respondent a feeling of respecting their privacy and hence can give you good response rates.