Pew Research Center reports and data on the world’s largest religious group.
Views of Religious Extremism
There are high levels of concern about religious extremism among Muslims in the homelands of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects. Most Muslims in the region reject violence against civilians.
U.S. Catholics Express Favorable Views of Pope
Pope Francis is viewed much more favorably by U.S. Catholics than Pope Benedict XVI was during the early days of his pontificate.
Graphic: U.S. Christians’ Views on the Return of Christ
According to a 2010 Pew Research Center survey, roughly half (48%) of Christians in the U.S. say they believe that Christ will definitely (27%) or probably (20%) return to earth in the next 40 years.
U.S. Catholics Happy with Pope Selection
Nearly three-quarters of U.S. Catholics say they are happy with the selection of Pope Francis. But they are divided over how big a change he represents for the church.
Latin America’s Catholics in the Spotlight
Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina will be formally installed as Pope Francis on Tuesday, March 19, becoming the first pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church from Latin America.
Graphic: Conclave Elects Pope
Pope Francis, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio hails from Argentina and becomes the first Latin American pontiff.
“Strong” Catholic Identity at a Four-Decade Low
The percentage of U.S. Catholics who consider themselves “strong” members of the Roman Catholic Church has never been lower than it was in 2012. The decline is starker when compared with Protestants.
Graphic: Geography of the Conclave
Just as the world’s Catholic population is spread across the globe, the cardinal electors gather from all regions to elect the next pope.
Views of the Catholic Church’s Problems and Contributions
U.S. Catholics see sex abuse as the church’s most important problem and charity as its most important contribution.
Religious Observance Among European Catholics Holds Steady
Pope Benedict XVI was dedicated to combating secularization, but there was no marked resurgence of faith in Europe.