FFEU Study on Muslim and Evangelical Relations

62 percent anti-Muslim sentiment reported within Evangelical community

The Foundation for Ethnic Understanding (FFEU) partnered with PSB Research to conduct a United States extensive survey on the relationship between practicing Muslims and evangelical Christians. The results were alarming but did not come as a surprise. The study discovered that Evangelicals have scant interest in learning more or interacting with Muslims. One thousand total respondents were comprised of 500 self-identified U.S. Muslims and 500 self-identified U.S.-born and brought up Evangelical Christians.

The data clearly shows the perception difference between Evangelical and Muslim Americans. More than 50 percent of Muslims reported they regularly interact with Christians and hold the belief that such interaction helps the groups to understand each other better. The same conclusion is held by only 22 percent of the surveyed Evangelical Christians. The Christians were more prone to seize upon the differences that exist between them and the Muslims. Both groups feel that relations between them can be improved from the present locus.

Both Evangelical Christians and Muslims share many similar religious values like family, improving the world, and daily prayer. They view these common factors as a path to bond and consequently improve relations between them. The Evangelicals, even in this context, are much more probable to highlight Christian-Muslim differences. More interactions between the two leads to the discovery of an increasing number of similarities between the Muslim religion and Evangelical Christianity. Not many of the latter can identify Muslim holidays and Islamic terms. However, the Evangelicals who regularly interact with Muslims cannot define Islamic terms like sharia, Ramadan, and the hijab.

Both groups are in agreement with the existence of anti-Muslim sentiment being present within members of the Evangelical Christian community and there is a consensus of Muslims being discriminated against due to their faith. Sixty-two percent of the surveyed Evangelicals admit that anti-Muslim sentiment is present among themselves. The two groups show significant differences in how they view many geopolitical issues. The travel ban imposed by President Donald Trump finds full traction among the Evangelical Christians, with 61 percent supporting such a ban. In contrast, over 70 percent of Muslims regard the travel restrictions solely as a Muslim ban. The list of other differences between the two groups also includes Central America originated migrant caravan rolling towards the United States. Fifty-eight percent of the Evangelicals consider it a threat, but Muslims do not agree with such an assessment.

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