Americans Feel More Positive About Most Religions

According to research conducted by the Pew Research Center, between June 2014 and January 2017, American views shifted to become more positive about about most of the world's great religions.  More specifically, survey respondents were asked to to rate a variety of groups on a “feeling thermometer” that ranged from 0 to 100 (with higher numbers reflecting warmer or more positive feelings). Respondents warmed to several religions during this two and a half year period, including Atheists Read More …

Mainline Members – Political Leanings

If you know much about American Christianity, you may expect Mainline Protestants to be more likely to have more liberal political leanings than the average American.  The Pew Research Center’s 2014 Religious Landscape Study affords an unparalleled look at this topic by breaking down many of the larger religious denominations by what political party their members self-identify as leaning toward or with which they affiliate. Among all US adults the survey found that 37% are or lean Republican, Read More …

A Religious Double Standard

While one would hope that Americans hold informed, respectful, and tolerant views of persons of all religious traditions (including those who have opted to not follow a religious paths) numerous studies indicate that most people have very limited levels of religious literacy.  Sadly, one recent study found that there is a religious double standard regarding religious violence. More specifically: when people claim to be a Christian and commit violent acts in the name of Christianity, only 13% Read More …

Global Islam

Writing for the CNN Belief Blog, Dan Merica distills the newly released Pew Research Center study on Islam into five major takeaways: Differences between U.S. and international Muslims are vast, Sharia law favored, especially by more devout Muslims, Most Muslims believe religion, politics should be intertwined, Around the world, Muslims heralded religious freedom, and Islamic extremism widely rejected, but still a concern. Says Who? This four year long study included a total of Read More …

12 Religions in a Year

Amanda Greene's recent article explores the yearlong religious experiment of 29 year old Andrew Bowen, a man who sought to attain faith in humanity rather than divinity through his quest.  During 2011 he practiced a new religion each month, in effect becoming Hindu in January, Baha'i in February, Zoroastrian in March, Jewish in April, Buddhist in May, Agnostic in June, Mormon in July, Muslim in August, Sikh in September, Wiccan in October, Jain in November, and Catholic Read More …

Mosques in America Growing Rapidly

The number of mosques in America is growing rapidly.  Lauren Markoe's Religion News Service article explores the recent growth through the lens of  "The American Mosque 2011,"  a recently released report that overviews the findings of a survey produced by "a coalition of Islamic civic groups and Muslim and non-Muslim religion scholars."  Notably: Total number of mosques: 2016 Growth in number of mosques since 2000: 74% Most mosques take an approach that is other than literal "see the Read More …

Religious Benefits

The latest research by Gallup (more than 676,000 interviews conducted in 2010 & 2011) finds "very religious Americans of all major faiths have higher overall wellbeing than do their respective counterparts who are moderately religious or nonreligious." The following chart shows how specific groups fared by degree of religiosity: In the overall rankings when religions are considered as a whole (across the varying degrees of religiosity), Jews rank highest, Christians are in the Read More …