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Pew: Americans Increasingly Positive Toward Religious Groups

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By    |   Wednesday, 15 Feb 2017 03:38 PM

Americans generally express more positive feelings toward various religious groups than they did just a few years ago, according to a Pew Research Center survey released on Wednesday.

Asked to rate a variety of groups on a "feeling thermometer" ranging from 0 to 100, American adults gave nearly all groups warmer ratings than they did in a June 2014 Pew Research Center survey.

Even those groups that Americans are the most cool towards, Muslims and atheists, had significantly higher ratings than they did in the last survey, rising from 40 and 41 respectively, to 48 and 50.

The increase in positive ratings was apparent in all sectors of society, according to the survey, by both men and women, Democrats and Republicans, as well as among age groups.

The authors of the survey viewed this as significant considering the extremely contentious political situation regarding the election and the new administration.

Ranked from high to low:

  • Jews: 67.
  • Catholics: 66.
  • Mainline Protestants: 65.
  • Evangelical Christians: 61.

Other results from the survey include:

  • Americans with college degrees gave warmer ratings to most groups compared with those who have less education. Evangelical Christians are an exception to this pattern, as college-educated adults gave evangelicals a 57, while those who are less educated gave them a 63.
  • Among those 65 and older, Mainline Protestants received a rating of 74, while Buddhists were at 58 and Muslims at 44.
  • Among those adults 29 years or younger, Buddhists received the highest ranking at 66, while Mainline Protestants received a 59 and Muslims a 58.
  • Americans expressed warmer feelings toward religious groups when they know someone in the group. For example, those who do not know anyone who is Buddhist gave them a 56 rating, while those who do know a Buddhist gave them a 75.

The random digit-dial survey of 4,248 respondents was conducted Jan. 9-23. The margin of error is plus or minus 2.5 percentage points.

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Americans generally express more positive feelings toward various religious groups than they did just a few years ago, according to a Pew Research Center survey released on Wednesday.
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2017-38-15
Wednesday, 15 Feb 2017 03:38 PM
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