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Christians’ home Internet access same as non-Christians, Barna study says

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–Born-again Christians are just as likely as non-Christians to own the newest technological gadgets — including having home Internet access — a Barna poll studying America’s hi-tech habits says.

The poll, conducted among 1,010 adults in January and February, reveals that 59 percent of Christians have home Internet access — the same percentage as non-Christians. Among other technologies — such as DVD players and home satellite dishes — the percentage is virtually the same.

Fifty-six percent of all adults own a DVD player (56 percent of Christians, 55 percent of non-Christians), while 28 percent of all adults own a satellite dish (29 percent of Christians, 27 percent of non-Christians).

As technologies expand, Christians will face more moral choices, said David Kinnaman, vice president of the Barna Research Group.

“The widespread adoption of technology creates new battlegrounds for moral choices to be made — battles that many Christians don’t even realize they’re waging,” he said in a release.

The differences between Christians and non-Christians are indistinguishable because Christian leaders have not addressed the role of technology, Kinnaman added.

“[H]ow often do Christian leaders and teachers specifically address how to anticipate, interpret and respond to technological innovation?” he asked. “As Americans we are typically focused on the function that technology serves, but as Christians have we sufficiently considered what expectations — both good and bad — technology creates and satisfies among its users?

“Without such a ‘philosophy of technology’ millions of believers are left defenseless against the tide of technologies that are changing the world in which they live,” Kinnaman said. “How much more relevant and healthy would Christians be if they were both adept users of technology and were able to use those tools within the larger framework of their passion to serve Christ and to bless others?”

Among the study’s other findings:

— The number of adults who own a DVD player (56 percent) has grown threefold since 2000, when it was only 18 percent.

— Satellite dish ownership has grown modestly, from 19 percent of all adults in 2000 to 28 percent today.

— 32 percent of all households say they own a home theater system.

— 28 percent of Americans say they have a mobile computing devise (laptops, pocket computers, “Palm Pilots”), up from 18 percent in 2000.

— Cell phones are owned by 65 percent of all Americans. In 2000, the number was 58 percent; in 1995, 26 percent.

— 36 percent of Americans own a digital camera.

— The percentage of Americans with home Internet access has risen from 7 percent in 1995, to 50 percent in 2000, to 59 percent today.

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