Half of All Americans Believe Discrimination Against Christians Is a Serious Problem in the US, New PRRI Study Finds

Demonstrators gather at Monument Circle to protest a controversial religious freedom bill recently signed by Governor Mike Pence during a rally in Indianapolis, Indiana, March 28, 2015. More than 2,000 people gathered at the Indiana State Capital Saturday to protest Indiana?s newly signed Religious Freedom Restoration Act saying it would promote discrimination against individuals based on sexual orientation. |

Nearly 50 percent of Americans believe discrimination against Christians in the U.S. has become as big of a problem as discrimination against other ethnic and religious groups, according to a new survey published by the Public Religion Research Institute.

Fourty-nine percent of the Americans surveyed believe that discrimination against Christians is becoming as big of a problem as discrimination against other groups, while 47 percent disagree.

Out of all the white evangelical Protestants surveyed, 70 percent said Christian discrimination has become a serious issue, while just 28 percent disagreed. People unaffiliated with Christianity leaned more toward discrimination not being as big of a problem as discrimination against other groups, as 59 percent disagreed with the statement with only 34 percent agreeing.

Fifty-five percent of non-white Protestants said discrimination against Christians is as bad as it is with other groups, while 40 percent disagreed.

The data also analyzed whether or not Americans believe the U.S. is a Christian nation.

The survey found that 45 percent Americans do not believe the U.S. is a Christian nation today, even if many say it was in the past. Thirty-five percent of the public believe the U.S. was a Christian nation in the past and is still a Christian nation today; and 14 percent say the U.S. has never been a Christian nation.

The data also found that most Christians do not believe that the U.S. is still a Christian nation today, with only 42 percent of white evangelical Protestants saying it is. The number drops lower with other groups analyzed, including non-white Protestants, with only 39 percent of them believing the U.S. is a Christian nation — 39 percent of Catholics believing it, 33 percent of mainline Protestants believing it, and 27 percent of religiously unaffiliated Americans believing the statement.

Fifty-six percent of white evangelical Protestants and 48 percent of mainline Protestants, however, believe America once was a Christian nation.

The Public Religion Research Institute claims the number of Americans who believe the U.S. is a Christian nation has declined steadily over the past five years, citing data from 2010 which found that 42 percent of Americans said the U.S. has always been and continues to be a Christian nation.

The survey, conducted by PRRI in partnership with Religion News Service, also analyzed Americans' attitudes toward protests, whether or not the country is setting a good moral example for the rest of the world, and who Americans classify as a "true American." The data was compiled using telephone interviews conducted among a random sample of 1,007 adults aged 18 and older.

Free CP Newsletters

Join over 250,000 others to get the top stories curated daily, plus special offers!


Most Popular

More In U.S.