Broad Criticism of Pope Benedict’s Handling of Sex Abuse Scandal
Amid new revelations of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church, Pope Benedict XVI’s job ratings for handling the scandal have plummeted.
Religion Among the Millennials
By some key measures, such as affiliation with a particular faith or regular attendance at religious services, Americans ages 18 to 29 are considerably less religious than older Americans. But by other measures such as beliefs about life after death and the existence of heaven, hell and miracles they closely resemble their elders.
Global Restrictions on Religion
Since some of the most restrictive countries are very populous, nearly 70% of the world’s 6.8 billion people live in countries with severe restrictions on religion.
Many Americans Not Dogmatic About Religion
Numerous Americans attend worship services of more than one faith or denomination, and many also mix Christianity with Eastern or New Age beliefs such as reincarnation, astrology and the presence of spiritual energy in physical objects. Sizeable minorities of all major U.S. religious groups say they have experienced supernatural phenomena.
GOP Seen as Friendlier to Religion than Democrats
The Democrats’ image with respect to religion fell sharply among groups inclined to dislike their party’s politics. Obama, though, is seen as friendlier to religion than is his party. Both fare better than do Hollywood, the media and scientists.
Abortion Plays Small Role in Health Reform Opposition
While most Americans oppose government funding of abortion, concern about abortion funding plays only a small role in driving opposition to the health care reform legislation. If anything, opposition to reform has declined, with currently 42% in favor and 39% opposed to the health care proposals in Congress.
Modest Rise In Concern About Islamic Extremism
Just more than half (52%) of Americans say they are very concerned about the possible rise of Islamic extremism in the U.S., up from 46% in April 2007.
Faith-Based Programs Still Popular
Faith-based initiatives remain popular eight years after President Bush unveiled his plan, but church-state concerns remain and not all religions garner high support for receiving funds. Also, 9% of Americans say they recently have turned to religious groups to help make ends meet.
Religious Landscape Survey Data Release
Data files from the U.S. Religious Landscape Survey, including interviews with a representative sample of more than 35,000 U.S. adults, are now available to the public for further study and analysis.
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.