10 facts about religion in America
It’s a fascinating time for conversations about faith in the United States, with Pope Francis set to visit, a presidential election on the horizon and major trends reshaping the country’s religious landscape.
Major U.S. metropolitan areas differ in their religious profiles
The religious face of America is largely a Christian one, with roughly seven-in-ten Americans belonging to that faith. But some of the nation’s biggest metropolitan areas have a very different look.
The most and least racially diverse U.S. religious groups
The nation’s population is growing more racially and ethnically diverse – and so are many of its religious groups, both at the congregational level and among broader Christian traditions.
Some major U.S. religious groups differ from their members on the death penalty
Many large religious groups have taken positions in opposition to the death penalty even though that stance is sometimes at odds with the opinions of their adherents.
Same-sex marriage makes some legal gains in Latin America
While laws allowing same-sex marriage have become more common in European countries and in U.S. states, gay marriage advocates also have gained ground in some parts of Latin America. Most recently, the Mexican Supreme Court issued a ruling making it much easier for gay and lesbian couples to wed.
Jindal followed a rare path, from Hinduism to Catholicism
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, a newly declared Republican candidate for president, is hoping to attract support from conservative evangelical Christian voters. Jindal himself is a Catholic, and, as the son of immigrants from Hindu-majority India, was raised in the Hindu faith.
U.S. Catholics less positive toward pope on environment, sex abuse scandal than other issues
55% of Catholics rated Francis positively on addressing sex abuse, and 53% gave him high marks on environmental issues. But these were two out of nine areas in which Francis drew the least positive ratings.
Where Europe stands on gay marriage and civil unions
Ireland is the 14th European nation to change its laws to allow gay and lesbian couples to wed.
Mormons more likely to marry, have more children than other U.S. religious groups
Two-thirds (66%) of U.S. Mormon adults are currently married, down slightly from 71% in 2007 – but still high compared with current rates among Christians overall (52%) and U.S. adults overall (48%).
Mainline Protestants make up shrinking number of U.S. adults
In recent years, the share of Americans who identify with mainline Protestantism has been shrinking significantly, a trend driven partly by generational change.