Before the Europeans came to America, the Native Americans believed that there was a spirit for everything which influenced their concept of religion. Most of the Europeans who settled in America held staunch Christian beliefs. Some of these settlers were Protestants while a great many of them held Catholic beliefs. Freedom of religion was guaranteed by the Constitution as a fundamental human right which encouraged many different sects to establish their version of the faith and their own churches. Many of these new movements flourished and became established and prominent because of the number of adherents which they attracted. Religion gained new prominence during the 20th century when immigrants from Europe flocked into America.
The new immigrants sought to establish their uniqueness by strict observance to their religious sects. This religious reverence affected Americans greatly, and America became the most religious country among several western nations to the extent that it had a dominating effect even on politics in the country. Religion is still a very powerful part of life in the US. This is because most Americans believe very firmly in paranormal entities which are identified in religious terms and long for a spiritual existence both here and in the hereafter. This has been helped greatly by the availability of religious literature and other paraphernalia.
The invention of mass media equipment such as the radio, TV, mobile phones and now the Internet has been a great boon for priests and evangelists who have used all media to propagate their messages to the masses. Their sermons about the rewards awaiting the righteous and hell and damnation for the evil have found a soft corner in the hearts and minds of Americans. Religion is still so omnipresent in American culture, that it has great influence on politics. Anything that can influence politics is something that can shape attitudes, beliefs and their very way of life. Despite evidence pointing to a religious decline in America, it is still a potent force in the American way of life.
The concept of spirituality has been described by social scientists as “nonordinary state of consciousness accompanied by various emotional, perceptual and psychosomatic manifestations. Americans believe that religion of “spirituality” as it were is a cure for all its psychological and other problems, such as nervous tensions, sickness or accidents and exposure to drugs and other influences. This includes psychological matters regarding family issues and current relationships which people believe will be strengthened and clarified by the power of prayer. This has deepened people’s faith in religion.