Race and community relations have become the focal point of tension in a series of incidents over the past year.
In December 2014, the balance of opinion flipped: For the first time, more Americans say protecting gun rights (52%) is more important than controlling gun ownership (46%).
Among the world’s 25 most populous countries, Burma (Myanmar), Egypt, Indonesia, Pakistan and Russia stand out as having the highest levels restrictions on religion (as of the end of 2013).
Social hostilities involving religion declined in 2013, while government restrictions remained level. But harassment of Jews reached a seven-year high.
Support for gun rights has edged up from earlier this year, and marks a shift in attitudes since shortly after the Newtown school shootings. For the first time in our surveys, there is more support for gun rights than gun control.
More Americans support the grand jury decision in the Eric Garner case than in the death of Michael Brown. There are wide racial differences in reactions to both.
One of the most persistent gaps between blacks and whites involves their levels of confidence in police.
A median of 83% of people across 34 emerging and developing economies say crime is a very big problem in their country, and 76% say the same about corrupt political leaders.
About half of Hispanics say they have a great deal or a fair amount of confidence in their local police force to not use excessive force on suspects and to treat people equally regardless of race or ethnicity.
Most Americans give relatively low marks to police departments around the country for holding officers accountable for misconduct, using the appropriate amount of force, and treating racial and ethnic groups equally.