Poll: Public appetite for religion increasing

New York Architecture Images- St. Patrick's Cathedral
New York Architecture Images- St. Patrick’s Cathedral

A recent Pew Research poll shows that 72 percent of the public thinks religion is losing influence in American life.

The number is a five-percentage-point jump since 2010, and is the highest percentage in Pew Research polling over the past decade. Most of the people that said religion’s influence was waning said they think it is a bad thing.

The American public said that they want religion to play a role in U.S. politics, and 41 percent said there has been “too little” expression of religious faith and prayer from political leaders. The divide is growing between religious Americans and those that do not identify with any religions.

More statistics from the survey:

A larger share of the general public sees the Republican Party as friendly toward religion (47 percent) than sees the Democratic Party that way (29 percent).

A declining share of Americans see the Obama administration as friendly toward religion; 30 percent now say the Obama administration is friendly toward religion, down 7 points since 2009.

About six-in-ten Americans say it is important for members of Congress to have strong religious beliefs (59 percent), a figure that has not changed significantly since the most recent midterm campaign in 2010.

Roughly two-thirds of U.S. adults (65 percent) think gays and lesbians face a lot of discrimination in the U.S. today, and half or more say the same about Hispanics (50 percent), blacks (54 percent) and Muslims (59 percent). Fewer think that Jews (32 percent), evangelical Christians (31 percent), atheists (27 percent) and Catholics (19 percent) face a lot of discrimination today.

About a third of evangelical Christians (34 percent), including 42 percent of white evangelical Protestants, and one in five Catholics (18 percent) say it has become more difficult to be a member of their religious group in recent years. Roughly one-in-ten religious “nones” (8 percent) say it has become harder to be a person with no religion in the U.S. in recent years, while 31 percent say it has become easier. About half or more in each of these groups say the ease or difficulty of being a member of their group hasn’t changed much either way.

Read more from the Washington Free Beacon.

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