Shrinking Majority of Americans Support Death Penalty
While a majority of U.S. adults still support the death penalty for persons convicted of murder, public support for capital punishment has been ticking downward for the past two decades.
Catholics Say Pope Francis Is a Change for the Better
Pope Francis remains immensely popular among American Catholics and is widely seen as a force for positive change.
How U.S. Catholics View Pope Francis: In Their Own Words
Fully 85% of adult Catholics in the U.S. say they have a favorable view of Pope Francis. We wanted to understand a little more about the popularity of the pope, so we asked respondents if they would be willing to elaborate on their answers to our survey questions.
Russians Return to Religion, But Not to Church
The share of Russians who identified as Orthodox Christians more than doubled between 1991 and 2008, while the share not identifying with any religion dropped. But for most Russians, this return to religion did not correspond with a return to church.
Religious Hostilities Reach Six-Year High
Religious hostilities increased in every major region of the world except the Americas. The sharpest increase was in the Middle East and North Africa, a region still feeling the effects of the Arab Spring. And China edged into the “high” category for the first time.
Public’s Views on Human Evolution
While 60% of Americans believe in human evolution, a third reject the idea. Beliefs about evolution differ strongly by religious group and also vary by party affiliation, gender, age and education.
How Americans Celebrate Christmas and the Holidays
Nine-in-ten Americans say they celebrate Christmas, and three-quarters say they believe in the virgin birth of Jesus. But only about half see Christmas mostly as a religious holiday, while one-third view it as more of a cultural holiday.
Views on End-of-Life Medical Treatments
Most Americans say there are circumstances in which doctors and nurses should allow a patient to die, but a growing minority says medical professionals always should do everything possible to save a patient’s life.
Many Sunnis and Shias Worry About Religious Conflict
There are high levels of concern about sectarian tensions in several countries where Sunnis and Shias live side by side. These concerns are particularly pronounced in Lebanon, where two-thirds of all Muslims say sectarian tensions are a big problem.
A Portrait of Jewish Americans
American Jews overwhelmingly say they are proud to be Jewish and have a strong sense of belonging to the Jewish people, but their identity is also changing: 22% of American Jews now say they have no religion.