Poll: Americans Rate Jews, Catholics, Evangelicals Warmly; Muslims, Atheists More Coldly

U.S. Public Has Warmest Feelings for Jews, Catholics and Evangelicals.
U.S. Public Has Warmest Feelings for Jews, Catholics and Evangelicals. | (Photo:Pew Research Center)

Americans feel warm toward Jews, Catholics and Evangelicals but they are colder toward Muslims and atheists, according to a new Pew Research Survey.

Respondents were asked to rate each faith group according to a "feeling thermometer" ranging from 0 to 100, 0 reflecting the coldest and most negative rating and 100 being the warmest, most positive. The outcome concluded that U.S. adults are more fond of individuals who share their same or similar faith.

"In a society like the United States, where religion is such an important part of life, of how people view the world, how people approach politics — it's one of the things that drives some of the very serious cultural disagreements we see in American society. It's important to know how religious groups see one another, relate to one another," said Greg Smith, associate director of research at the Pew Research Center, reports Washington Post.

Jews, Catholics and Evangelical groups received a rating of 63, 62 and 61, respectively. Buddhists, Hindus and Mormons received neutral ratings ranging from 48 to 53 while atheists and Muslims were rated 41 and 40 on the thermometer.

While there were varying factors for the results, the fact that Catholics and Evangelical Christians are part of the most favorably viewed groups is because the survey comprised of 20 percent Catholics and 32 percent Evangelicals.

However, the Pew survey indicated that other factors were associated with Americans' views about faith groups, including age, and political affiliation.

Older individuals gave higher ratings than younger adults to Christians and Jews, while younger Americans give higher ratings to non-Christian groups than older adults.

In the same manner, Republicans rated evangelicals and Jews very positively, 71 and 67 respectively, and Mormons, Buddhists and Hindus were rated 52, 49, 47, respectively. Democrats expressed warmer feelings toward Jews, Catholics and Buddhists, with ratings of 62, 61 and 57 on average.

While Catholics and Evangelicals, generally view each other warmly; Evangelicals gave Catholics a rating of 63; Catholics rated evangelicals a 57, other religious groups were not as equally warm toward each other.

The survey indicated that Evangelicals hold warm, positive views of Jews, as they were rated 69 on the thermometer scale. However, Jews rated evangelicals a 34.

Other findings indicated that Atheists are not entirely cold toward religious groups as they rated Buddhists a 69, Jews 61 and Hindus 58. However, they rate Evangelicals an overall rating of 28.

The survey was conducted between May 30 and June 30 with a nationally representative panel of 3,217 randomly selected adults. The margin of error is plus or minus 2.2 percentage points.

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