May 8, 2012

Majority of Americans Say Churches and Politics Don’t Mix

54%

More than half (54%) of adults say the church should stay out of political matters.

A majority of Americans (54%) say that churches and other houses of worship should keep out of political matters, while 40% say they should express their views on social and political questions. After a decade in which the balance of opinion tilted in the opposite direction, this is the third consecutive survey in the past four years in which more people say churches should keep out of politics than say churches should express their views on social and political issues.

But there is a noticeable difference in views held by those who identify themselves as Republicans, Democrats or Independents. Most Democrats (60%) and independents (58%) say churches should stay out of politics, compared with 44% of Republicans.

When this question was first asked by the Pew Research Center in 1996, there was little partisan division. Roughly four-in-ten Republicans and independents said churches should keep out of politics (42% each), as did 44% of Democrats. Read More