Most Continue to Favor Gays Serving Openly in Military
Large majorities of Democrats and independents favor allowing homosexuals to serve openly in the armed forces. Republicans are divided, but among conservative Republicans, far more oppose than favor allowing gays to serve openly.
Gay Marriage Gains More Acceptance
For the first time in 15 years of Pew Research Center polling, fewer than half oppose same-sex marriage, though, support (42%) remains below opposition (48%). The shift in favor of gay marriage has been broad-based, occurring across many demographic, political and religious groups.
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.
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.
Islam and Christianity in Sub-Saharan Africa
In little more than a century, the religious landscape of sub-Saharan Africa has changed dramatically. In 1900, traditional African religions dominated. Since then, the numbers of both Muslims and Christians have risen into the hundreds of millions. A new survey explores how sub-Saharan Africans themselves view the role of religion in their lives and societies.
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.