U.S. Warming Up to Different Religious Groups and Even Atheists

Americans are warming up to different religions.

Americans are now more open to different religious groups compared to a few years before. Studies conducted by Pew Research Center reveal U.S. adults now give almost all religious groups much warmer ratings compared to the results collated in June 2014.

U.S. Warming Up to Different Religious Groups and Even Atheists[/tweetthis]

For atheists, the good news is the U.S. public generally likes atheists more than they did in 2014.[/tweetit] The increase in positive feelings is more than any other religion, however, overall, they are liked much less than other viewpoints on religion.

On Pew Research Center’s thermometer of feelings, the coldest were atheists and Muslims. In comparison, Catholics and Jews continue to be the recipient of the warmest ratings and are more liked compared to 2014. Feelings of Americans towards Hindus and Mormons have moved from neutral to warmer levels in the hypothetical thermometer with their ratings at 58 and 54 respectively. Rise in mean ratings can be regarded as broad based. Feelings of warmth are expressed by individuals present in almost all major religious groups. They are also present among Republicans and Democrats, in both sexes and also among older and younger adults.

The lowest number of ratings are for atheists and Muslims. This remains true even in the face of slight improvement for followers of the faith and those who lack faith. For Muslims, the rating increased from 40 to 48 and atheists came up from 41 to 50. Evangelical Christians are quite warm at 61 degrees. Incidentally, this is the only group whose rating remains unchanged from 2014. For Buddhists, ratings went up to 60 from 53. Mainline Protestants enjoyed a 65 warm rating in the survey. It should be noted Protestants were not included in the 2014 study.

Average ratings given to specific religious groups continue to broadly vary depending on to whom the question was actually asked. To give an example, younger adults ranging from 18 to 29 years of age have a much better image of Muslims compared to older Americans. What is more, the young adults rate all groups included in the study within a comparatively tight range, from 54 degrees (Mormons) to 66 degrees (Buddhists). In contrast, older Americans, considered 65 years of age and older, rate a few religious groups like Jews and Mainline Protestants at 75 and 74 respectively. They are cold towards atheists and Muslims at 44 degrees for each of them.


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