U.S. Religious Knowledge Survey
Atheists and agnostics, Jews and Mormons are among the highest-scoring groups on a new survey of religious knowledge, outperforming evangelical Protestants, mainline Protestants and Catholics on questions about the core teachings, history and leading figures of major world religions.
Religious Beliefs and Political Issues
Religious beliefs continue to be influential in shaping some Americans’ views about social issues such as abortion and same-sex marriage. Far fewer cite religion as a top influence on issues such as immigration, the environment and poverty.
Muslim Networks and Movements in Western Europe
The Muslim population in Western Europe has grown from less than 10 million in 1990 to approximately 17 million. A new report profiles some of the oldest, largest and most influential religious networks and movements affecting Islamic relations in Europe.
Public Remains Conflicted Over Islam
Favorable views of Islam have declined since 2005, but a plurality still says Islam does not encourage violence more than other religions. More Americans agree with those who object to the building of the center in New York, but a majority also say that Muslims should have the same rights as other religious groups to build houses of worship.
Growing Number of Americans Say Obama is a Muslim
More than a year into his presidency, 18% of Americans say that Barack Obama is a Muslim. A plurality say they do not know what religion he follows. The view that president is a Muslim is highest among his political opponents. Yet the public also generally says Obama handles his religious beliefs appropriately.
Religion in the 2008 Presidential Election
An analysis of newly released exit poll data finds that Barack Obama succeeded in attracting a larger share of the vote among some religious groups than John Kerry did in 2004. The contours of religion and politics, however, were largely the same in 2008 as in 2004.
Federal Court Strikes Down California Same-Sex Marriage Ban
A federal district court judge struck down California’s ban on gay marriage, ruling that the prohibition violates the U.S. Constitution. The decision, which is expected to be appealed, represents the first time a federal judge has ruled that the U.S. Constitution protects the right of same-sex couples to marry.
High Court Rules Against Campus Christian Group
A divided Supreme Court has ruled, 5-4, that a public law school can deny recognition to a student group that excludes gays and lesbians. In Christian Legal Society v. Martinez, the Court said the school could enforce a policy requiring official student organizations to accept all students who want to join.
The Pope Meets the Press
Newspaper coverage of the Catholic clergy sexual abuse scandal grew more intense this spring than at any time since 2002, and European newspapers devoted even more ink to the story than American papers did, according to a new study by the Pew Research Center.
Rights of Conscience vs. Civil Rights
New “conscience protection” cases have emerged in the health care area expanding the debate beyond abortion and birth control to discrimination protection for certain groups, notably gays and lesbians.