Rising Restrictions on Religion
More than 2.2 billion people — nearly a third (32%) of the world’s total population of 6.9 billion — live in countries where either government restrictions on religion or social hostilities involving religion rose substantially between mid-2006 and mid-2009.
Are Republicans Ready Now for a Mormon President?
An important group within the Republican base, white evangelical Protestants, is more uncomfortable with the idea of a Mormon candidate than are other Republicans.
Churches in Court
American religious institutions have been at the center of many legal controversies in recent years. These and related lawsuits raise complex constitutional questions that have been troubling American courts for more than a century. Are legal disputes involving churches and other religious institutions constitutionally different from those involving their secular counterparts, and if so, how?
Continuing Divide in Views of Islam and Violence
The public remains divided over whether Islam is more likely than other religions to encourage violence among its believers. Political and ideological divisions are wide, though. Most conservatives and Tea Party supporters link Islam with violence.
Religion in the News: 2010
Though still small in volume, mainstream media coverage of religion in 2010 doubled over the preceding year. Events and controversies related to Islam — especially a proposed Islamic center in New York City — dominated coverage, bumping the Catholic Church from the top spot.
The Tea Party, Religion and Social Issues
Tea Party supporters’ conservative opinions extend beyond economic matters to social issues such as abortion and same-sex marriage. The Tea Party also draws disproportionate support from the ranks of white evangelical Protestants.
Faith on the Hill
Many analysts described the November 2010 midterm elections as a sea change, with Republicans taking control of the U.S. House of Representatives and narrowing the Democratic majority in the Senate. But this political overhaul appears to have had little effect on the religious composition of Congress, which is similar to the religious makeup of the previous Congress and of the nation.
Religion in the 2010 Elections
Following voting trends, white Protestants voted overwhelmingly Republican and religiously unaffiliated voters overwhelmingly supported Democrats. But Catholic voters swung to the GOP, and Republicans made gains in all three groups.
Religious Beliefs and Political Issues
Religious beliefs continue to be influential in shaping some Americans’ views about social issues such as abortion and same-sex marriage. Far fewer cite religion as a top influence on issues such as immigration, the environment and poverty.
Growing Number of Americans Say Obama is a Muslim
More than a year into his presidency, 18% of Americans say that Barack Obama is a Muslim. A plurality say they do not know what religion he follows. The view that president is a Muslim is highest among his political opponents. Yet the public also generally says Obama handles his religious beliefs appropriately.