Study finds 76% of White Evangelical Protestants support immigration ban

A survey conducted by Pew Research Center on the issue of President Donald Trump's executive order to bar refugees along with travel from seven predominantly Muslim countries spewed up the religious divide concerning the order with the U.S. religious spectrum. Trump’s Muslim ban finds majority support among white evangelical Protestants , with 76 percent supporting such a step. Most of them support the Republican Party. In comparison, an overwhelming majority of the African-American Protestants are against such a stricture. About 84 percent of black Protestants have opposed it. The same anti-administration tone is carried by “nones” as well. About 74 percent have strongly opposed the executive order.

The Trump administration's travel restrictions and media gagging initiatives have also been criticized by the most unexpected of critics, George W. Bush, a former President of the United States. In an interview with a well known mainstream media house, the erstwhile President of the United States warned that contrary to Trump's claim that media can be construed as the people's enemy, democracy needs an independent press. If the U.S. does not have a free press, then it will have no leverage to speak upon it to other countries. Bush said media is essential to democracy. He further added power could be extremely addictive and it could be corrosive as well. It is vital for the media to hold accountable the people who try to abuse power.

A majority of Catholics, about 62 percent, have also voiced their disapproval on this particular issue. There is, however, a schism along ethnic lines. Whites are divided 50-50 on their views concerning the order. Ethnic minorities and Hispanics have roundly criticized such restrictions on travel and refugees. Many Protestants also seem to be divided on the subject.

About 75 percent of white evangelical Protestants have said they are extremely concerned on the nature of Islamic terrorism in the current scenario. Approximately 69 percent have clearly indicated their apprehension concerning American Islamic extremism. These views are shared by about 50 percent of Catholics and standard Protestants. When it came to the “nones”, 32 percent of them expressed concern about extremism in the world and 27 percent within the United States. This survey also revealed about 50 percent of the white evangelicals hold the belief that about 16 percent of Muslims support extremism in some form or the other. This number went up to 35 percent in a number of cases. This viewpoint about the minorities is seen in almost every important religious group.

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