The “Zeal of the Convert”: Is It the Real Deal?
People who have switched religions consistently exhibit higher levels of religious commitment than those who still belong to their childhood faith, but the differences are relatively modest.
Most Still Oppose Gay Marriage, but Support for Civil Unions Continues to Rise
A 57% majority of Americans support civil unions, continuing a long-term trend of increasing support, but a majority still opposes same-sex marriage. The issue continues to sharply divide religious and political groups.
Health Care: Politics in the Pews
Many religious organizations have taken on the look of political campaigns, as advocates for and against health care reform preach their politics.
Mapping the Global Muslim Population
A comprehensive demographic study of more than 200 countries finds there are 1.57 billion Muslims of all ages living in the world today, representing 23% of an estimated 2009 world population of 6.8 billion. A series of interactive maps show the size and distribution of the worldwide Muslim population.
Support for Abortion Slips
The election of President Obama may have moved the needle on abortion opinion. Opposition to abortion is up among Republicans, while opinion has changed little among the president’s strongest backers. As the importance of abortion as an issue has declined among liberals, opposition from conservatives has become more firm.
Salazar v. Buono: Can Government Give One Religion’s Symbol Prominence in a Public Park?
The Supreme Court will soon take up a case with the potential to determine the fate of a cross on display in the Mojave National Preserve, as well as similar religious displays across the country. The court’s decision might also determine who may bring Establishment Clause lawsuits in federal court in the future.
Muslims Widely Seen As Facing Discrimination
Nearly six-in-ten say Muslims are subject to a lot of discrimination, far more than say the same about Jews, evangelical Christians, atheists or Mormons. A new survey also finds the public is more likely to see differences rather than similarities between their own religion and every other religion tested, with the sole exception of Protestantism.
Faith Healing on Trial
Two of government’s obligations — enforcing child welfare laws and protecting religious freedom — can clash when a parent chooses to rely on faith healing instead of standard medical care for a sick child. Robert W. Tuttle, a church-state scholar, explains.
Obama’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships
A new report by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life examines President Obama’s faith-based advisory council, including descriptions of their goals and profiles of members.
Measuring Media: Faith-Based Initiative
While Obama adopted much of the program put into place by Bush, it has generated little of the contentious press coverage sparked by his predecessor’s effort.