Friday, September 28, 2007

Pew Research on American Views on Different Faiths



Pew Research released an analysis this week of how the American public views different religious faiths. As you can see from the graphic above, a majority have unfavorable views about atheists, and sizable minorities have unfavorable views about both Muslims and Mormons. One interesting fact is that Evangelicals are viewed far less favorably than Jews or Catholics--which is likely the result of political activity by prominant Evangelical leaders in the past. Here is the analysis:

The Muslim and Mormon religions have gained increasing national visibility in recent years. Yet most Americans say they know little or nothing about either religion's practices, and large majorities say that their own religion is very different from Islam and the Mormon religion.

A new national survey reveals some notable similarities, as well as major differences, in the ways that Americans view these faiths and their followers. Public impressions of both religions are hazy – 58% say they know little or nothing about Islam's practices, while 51% have little or no awareness of the precepts and practices of Mormonism. The number of people who say they know little or nothing about Islam has changed very little since 2001.

Most Americans believe that their own religion has little in common with either Islam or the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Fully 70% say that their religion is very different from Islam, while 62% say this about the Mormon religion. The proportion who say that Islam has little or nothing in common with their own religion has increased substantially since 2005 (from 59% to 70%).

. . .

Public views of other religious groups have changed little over the past few years. About three-quarters of those polled have a favorable opinion of Jews and Catholics (76% each), while substantially fewer are favorable toward evangelical Christians (60%). Atheists are viewed far more negatively, with just 35% holding a positive view and 53% saying they have an unfavorable opinion.


Read it all here.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Were "mainstream Christians" included
in the study, i.e.,Evan.,Luth, UCC, Episc., etc.? It hard to see how the data relates without having that category to choose from.

Alice in Phoenix