February 27, 2017

Most white evangelicals approve of Trump travel prohibition and express concerns about extremism

While most Americans disapprove of Donald Trump’s recent executive order that would prohibit refugees and travel from some Muslim-majority countries, a recent Pew Research Center survey finds a sizable divide on the issue among the country’s major religious groups.

Most Republicans support and most Democrats oppose the order, which would temporarily prohibit accepting new refugees from Syria into the U.S. and also prevent people (refugee or otherwise) from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S.

The partisan gap is mirrored by a religious one. About three-quarters of white evangelical Protestants (76%), most of whom identify with or lean toward the GOP, say they approve of the travel ban. In stark contrast, big majorities of black Protestants (84%) and religious “nones” (74%) – two strongly Democratic constituencies – disapprove of the executive order.

Most Catholics (62%) also disapprove of Trump’s action on this issue. But among Catholics, there are big differences in opinion between whites, who are evenly divided in their view about the order, and Hispanics and other racial and ethnic minorities, who overwhelmingly disapprove of the restrictions on refugees and travel. White mainline Protestants also are divided on the issue.

In addition to approving of new restrictions on refugees and travelers from Muslim-majority countries, three-quarters of white evangelical Protestants also say they are “very concerned” about extremism in the name of Islam around the world these days, and roughly seven-in-ten (69%) say they are “very concerned” about extremism in the name of Islam in the U.S. Roughly half or more white Catholics and white mainline Protestants share these sentiments. At the same time, roughly three-in-ten religious “nones” say they are “very concerned” about extremism in the name of Islam around the world (32%) or in the U.S. (27%).

The survey also shows that about half of white evangelicals believe there is a “great deal” (16%) or a “fair amount” (35%) of support for extremism among Muslims in the U.S. This is a minority viewpoint in every other major religious group.

Topics: Immigration, Religion and Society, Religious Extremism, Immigration Trends, Religion and U.S. Politics, Religious Affiliation, Religious Beliefs and Practices, Catholics and Catholicism, Evangelical Protestants and Evangelicalism, Muslims and Islam, Migration, Religiously Unaffiliated

  1. Photo of Gregory A. Smith

    is an associate director of research at Pew Research Center.


  1. Anonymous6 months ago

    The Christian extremists are worried about Muslim extremists.

  2. Anonymous6 months ago

    So white evangelicals are the only group of whom the majority understands that nation-states are not charities.

    1. Anonymous6 months ago

      How charitable of them…..

  3. Anonymous6 months ago

    How does Pew’s research approach define “White Evangelical Protestant”? Who is included in this group? Are these people self-identified in your survey methodology, or does Pew classify them as such based on other question responses?

    1. Bruce Drake6 months ago

      See if this article helps: pewrsr.ch/1pGQG5o

  4. Anonymous6 months ago

    The lesson of the Good Samaritan seems to be lost. Go. Love thy neighbor as yourself.

    1. Anonymous6 months ago

      Until you find out that is not how other religious groups feel about you or will approach you. Many religious groups feel that if you do not believe as they believe, than you are little more than a useful animal supplied to them by god. Kid you not. This is the problem with the Christain religion nowadays, is the fact that they believe in the concept of put yourself in another persons shoes. However, most cultures do not have this concept. It works for our culture, but in other cultures, it only applies to those that believe in the same faith.

      1. Anonymous6 months ago

        It’s good that Jesus didn’t wait to help people until he was sure they were willing to help him back. He might have gotten hurt.

        1. Gary Williams6 months ago

          Reciprocal altruism. Interesting concept 😉

  5. Anonymous6 months ago

    It would be interesting to see how concerned these groups are about terrorism within the US by white males.

  6. Anonymous6 months ago

    What is the population of this study and what is the population of each group surveyed? What are the geographical areas of each group?