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Religion in North Carolina

North Carolina lies in The Bible Belt, a region in the Southern United States in which socially conservative Protestant Christianity plays a strong role in society and politics, and church attendance across the denominations is generally higher than the nation’s average. The region contrasts with the religiously diverse Midwest and Great Lakes, and the Mormon corridor in Utah and southern Idaho. 

North Carolina is the US state with the 9th largest population, Christianity being the majority religion and Protestantism as its largest branch. In recent years, surveys show that religious Unaffiliated (people who describe themselves as atheist, agnostic, or simply “nothing in particular”) have been growing as a share of the U.S. adult population.

also read about Race and Ethnicity in North Carolina

North Carolina Religion Percentage

Christianity is the main religion followed by 77% of the population. The largest Christian denomination in North Carolina is Protestants (66%) followed by Roman Catholics (9%), Jehovah’s Witnesses (1%), Mormons (1%), Orthodox Christian (1%), and Other Christian.

About 20% of the population don’t follow or adhere to any faith or religion. Other non-Christian-based religions and faiths are followed by 3% of the population.

Other Religions include Hinduism, Buddhism, Jews, Islam, and other smaller faiths.

Christianity 77%
 – Protestantism – 66%
 – Roman Catholicism – 9%
 – Mormonism – 1%
 – Eastern Orthodoxy – 1%
 – Jehovah’s Witnesses – 1%
 – Other Christian – <1%
Other Religion 3%
  Judaism -1%
  Islam -<1%
  Buddhism -<1%
  Hinduism -<1%
  Other religion -1%
  No religion 20%
  Don’t know 1%

Source: Pew Research Center

read about Religion in the United States

Christianity in North Carolina

Christianity with 77% followers is the largest in North Carolina. All Protestant denominations accounted for 66% of the population followed by Roman Catholics at 9% of the population.

Of the Protestants in the state,  Evangelicals compose 35% of the population, Mainline Protestants 19%, and Historically Black Protestants 12%.

Rest include Mormons,  Eastern Orthodoxy, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and other smaller denominations. 

Christianity AffiliationsPercentage
Protestantism 77%
– Mainline  Protestant– 35%
– Evangelical Protestant– 19%
– Black church– 12%
Roman Catholicism 9%
Mormonism 1%
Eastern Orthodoxy 1%
Jehovah’s Witnesses 1%
Other Christians <1%

Protestantism in North Carolina

Among Christians in North Carolina, Protestantism is the largest group comprising about 66% of the state’s population. Protestantism in the United States has branched out into several branches, denominations, and various interdenominational and related movements. 

Protestants by tradition can be further classified into three main denominations. Evangelical is the largest and followed by 35% of the population, Next is Mainline Protestants (19%) and 12% follow the Historically Black Church.

Protestants Affiliation% of  population
Mainline Protestant35%
Evangelical  Protestant19%
Historically  Black Protestant12%

Protestantism is also comprised of numerous denominational families (e.g., Baptist, Methodist, and Pentecostal) that fit into one or more of the traditions.  According to the Association of Religion Data Archives (ARDA), The largest Protestant churches in North Carolina in 2020 are as follows

Religious BodiesTraditionFamilyAdherents
Southern Baptist ConventionEvangelical Baptist 1,324,747
Non-denominational Christian ChurchesEvangelical Other Groups 1,053,564
United Methodist ChurchMainline Methodist 595,636
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)Mainline Presbyterian/Reformed 129,110
National Missionary Baptist Convention of AmericaBlack Baptist 119,228
African Methodist Episcopal Zion ChurchBlack Methodist 112,251
Episcopal ChurchMainline Anglican/Episcopal 74,210
Church of God (Cleveland, Tennessee)Evangelical Pentecostal 68,675
Assemblies of God, General Council of theEvangelical Pentecostal 51,450
Evangelical Lutheran Church in AmericaMainline Lutheran 50,782

read about  Protestants in the United States

Catholics in North Carolina

The Catholic Church, with a following of 9% of the state population, is the second largest religious group in North Carolina, after Protestantism. According to the Association of Religion Data Archives (ARDA) in 2020, the Roman Catholic Church had 928,735 members across 198 parishes, making it the third-largest Church in the state of North Carolina.

Since the 1990s, the religious share of Christians has decreased, while Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Sikhism, and other religions have spread, mainly from immigration. 

Other Religions together make up 3% of the North Carolina population and include Hinduism, Buddhism, Jews, Islam, and other smaller faiths.

Other Religion   

  • Judaism  -1%
  •  Islam  – <1%
  •  Buddhism  – <1%
  •  Hinduism  – <1%
  •  Smaller faiths  -2%

also read about Population in North Carolina


Note: The US census does not contain questions about one’s religious affiliation. Our Article is based on surveys conducted by various institutions and agencies.

Religion in North Carolina 2024 | Christianity in North Carolina