Most U.S. Catholics rely heavily on their own conscience for moral guidance
Despite Pope Francis’ overwhelming popularity, few U.S. Catholics say they turn to the pope “a great deal” for guidance on difficult moral questions.
Pope’s proclamation, like views of U.S. Catholics, indicates openness to nontraditional families
Six-in-ten Catholics say the church should allow those who are divorced and have remarried without obtaining an annulment to receive Communion, according to a 2015 Pew Research Center Survey.
U.S. religious groups and their political leanings
Mormons are the most heavily Republican-leaning religious group in the U.S., while a pair of major historically black Protestant denominations are two of the most reliably Democratic groups.
A snapshot of Catholics in Mexico, Pope Francis’ next stop
Mexico is home to not only the largest Spanish-speaking population in the world, but one of the biggest Catholic populations, too.
Where Christian churches, other religions stand on gay marriage
In the last two decades, several religious groups have moved to allow same-sex couples to marry within their traditions.
Most U.S. Christian groups grow more accepting of homosexuality
Acceptance of homosexuality is rising across the broad spectrum of American Christianity, including among members of churches that strongly oppose homosexual relationships as sinful.
Religious groups’ policies on transgender members vary widely
Religious institutions are starting to formally address the participation of transgender people in their congregations, much as they have with the issue of accepting homosexuals.
In Africa, Pope Francis will find religious vibrancy and violence
The three countries on the pope’s itinerary — Uganda, Kenya and the Central African Republic — all have sizable Catholic populations. But they also have seen violent clashes in recent years.
Church involvement varies widely among U.S. Christians
Some of the largest Christian denominations in the U.S. have relatively low levels of involvement among their members.
Americans’ faith in God may be eroding
The vast majority of Americans still believe in God, but there are strong signs that many are less certain about this belief than in years past.