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Christmas is more cultural than religious for many

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NEW YORK (AP) - A new survey gives credence to those who say that the religious meaning of Christmas is being lost.

A poll released Wednesday by the Pew Research Center found only half of Americans consider the holiday religious, even though nearly three-quarters said they believed Jesus was born to a virgin. One-third consider Christmas a cultural celebration.

Church attendance will be higher than usual during the holiday. But the survey found fewer adults are holding to the tradition of attending worship services. Sixty-nine percent of respondents said they attended Christmas services as a child. Only 54 percent will do so this year.

Meanwhile, 86 percent say they will gather with extended family or friends and will buy gifts for them.

The survey of more than 2,000 people was conducted earlier this month.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

  • A new survey indicates that the religious meaning of Christmas is lost. Do you consider Christmas to be a religious or cultural celebration?

  • Thank you for participating in our poll. Here are the results so far:

    I consider it to be a religious celebration.
    87%
    392 votes
    It's more of a cultural celebration to me.
    11%
    50 votes
    I don't observe Christmas.
    2%
    11 votes
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