Nearly two out of three Americans plan to attend an Easter church service this year, according to a new Knights of Columbus-Marist poll.
Overall, 63 percent of the general U.S. population plans to observe Easter by attending church. Among Catholic Americans, 74 percent expressed intention to attend an Easter service, according to the poll conducted for the world's largest Catholic fraternal service organization.
A vast majority of practicing Catholics (90 percent) anticipate celebrating Easter at Mass, and nearly half of non-practicing Catholics (47 percent) plan to do so.
"This data shows very clearly that Americans and American Catholics have a very deep-rooted faith," said Carl Anderson, head of the Knights of Columbus. "In their celebration of Christ's resurrection on Easter, Americans reconnect to the faith that has been handed down to them over thousands of years and continues today to be a source of great hope."
In addition to Easter attendance, the poll also questioned the importance of Easter to those who will be observing the Christian holiday. Seventy percent of Americans whose faith observes Easter identified it as the most important, or one of the most important religious holidays.
Among Catholics, 71 percent of the overall group agreed with the same statement, and 80 percent of practicing Catholics said the same.
The vast majority of Americans (86 percent) correctly identified that Easter is the celebration of Jesus Christ's resurrection, the poll found. A slightly higher number of American Catholics (88 percent) correctly matched Easter to its religious significance.
Christians make up about 76 percent of the U.S. population, including a 51 percent Protestant population and 24 percent Roman Catholic population.
Poll results are based on a survey of 2,078 Americans, including 521 Catholics, conducted by Marist College Institute for Public Opinion on March 24-31, 2009.