Efforts by inmates at state prisons to proselytize or convert other inmates to another religion are common, according to a survey of prison chaplains in all 50 states. More than seven-in-ten (73%) chaplains report this kind of activity as either very or somewhat common. That being said, these do not necessarily succeed.

Still, 77% of chaplains say that there is either “a lot” (26%) or “some” religious switching among inmates (51%). About one-fifth (21%) say that switching does not occur much in the prisons where they work.

Among chaplains who report some switching, about half (51%) report that the Muslim population in prison is growing in number. In addition, just under half (47%) say the same about Protestant Christians. A sizable minority of chaplains (34%) answering this question also say that followers of pagan or earth-based religions are growing. Read More

Russell Heimlich  is a former web developer at Pew Research Center.