Religion in the News: 2009
Pope Benedict XVI, though he made no visits to the United States last year, was the subject of two of the top 10 religion stories, while the Obama administration accounted for three of the top 10 religion-focused storylines during the year
A Brief History of Religion and the U.S. Census
Public debate over the propriety, merit and feasibility of the Census Bureau asking questions about religion has waxed and waned over many decades with religious groups, civil liberty groups, social scientists and the Census Bureau’s own staff divided over the issue.
Global Restrictions on Religion
Since some of the most restrictive countries are very populous, nearly 70% of the world’s 6.8 billion people live in countries with severe restrictions on religion.
Religion, Race – and Obama
A religious scholar discusses the president-elect’s place in the nation’s historical tension between religion and politics and examines the role of black churches as well as the controversy surrounding the Rev. Jeremiah Wright.
A Look at Religious Voters in the 2008 Election
Two experts examine the role that religion played in the 2008 presidential election and discuss implications for the future.
GOP Seen as Friendlier to Religion than Democrats
The Democrats’ image with respect to religion fell sharply among groups inclined to dislike their party’s politics. Obama, though, is seen as friendlier to religion than is his party. Both fare better than do Hollywood, the media and scientists.
Faith-Based Programs Still Popular
Faith-based initiatives remain popular eight years after President Bush unveiled his plan, but church-state concerns remain and not all religions garner high support for receiving funds. Also, 9% of Americans say they recently have turned to religious groups to help make ends meet.
Health Care: Politics in the Pews
Many religious organizations have taken on the look of political campaigns, as advocates for and against health care reform preach their politics.
Obama’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships
A new report by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life examines President Obama’s faith-based advisory council, including descriptions of their goals and profiles of members.
Obama’s Favorite Theologian? A Short Course on Reinhold Niebuhr
Journalists gathered in Key West, Fla., in May 2009 for the Pew Forum’s biannual Faith Angle Conference on religion, politics and public life. Wilfred McClay, a historian specializing in American intellectual history, offered an overview of Reinhold Niebuhr’s unique form of progressive Christianity.