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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

7/18/2014 (8 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Catholic faith is enjoying a warm reception in America.

Catholics have reason to feel good about themselves, if the results of a new Pew survey are to be believed. According to a survey of Americans, Catholics are rated "warmly" revealing broad public acceptance and favor.

Americans view Catholics more favorably than any other Christian group.

Americans view Catholics more favorably than any other Christian group.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

7/18/2014 (8 months ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: Catholic, Pew, study, ratings, research, atheism, Islam


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to the latest Pew study, Catholics are rated warmly in the United States. The positive result comes with other surprises as well. The poll asked 3,217 adults how they felt about different religions.

Participants were asked to rate their feelings towards each religious group on a scale of 1 to 100, likened to a thermometer. A 50 represented neutral feelings. Catholics were a balmy 62, just behind Jews who scored the highest at 63.

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Evangelical Christians came in at 61, just behind Catholics.

Hindus were placed in the dead center, at 50. Buddhist were close at 53.

The surprises were in the 40 range where Mormons rated low at 48. This means a majority of Americans hold an unfavorable view of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. This result seems surprising because the Mormons are noted for their public outreach.

At the relative bottom of the scale were atheists, who received a chilly score of 41. That's quite low with many Americans viewing atheism as somewhat hostile. The only religion to be ranked below atheism is Islam. Muslims scored a 40, even lower than atheists.

The finding did take into account each respondent's religious beliefs and naturally people ranked their own religion the highest.

Another curious finding was that Evangelicals rate Jews highly, giving them a ranking of 69. Yet, Jews don't share the affinity, ranking them an astounding 34. What's more surprising is that they ranked Muslims a point higher at 35!

Atheists and Evangelicals really dislike each other, with each giving the other scores in the 20s. However, Atheists view Buddhists favorably, giving them a 69. Atheists gave Jews a 61 and Hindus a 58. Christians fared much worse in the eyes of atheists.

The study also found one troubling statistic. Christianity is on the decline in America. It is losing ground to atheism, Islam, and eastern religions. Part of this is the unchecked growth of secularism and the other part is attributable to an influx of peoples from Asian countries.

Younger Americans tend to view various religious groups with disfavor while older Americans are happier with religions people.

The study also examined political affiliations and found that Catholics in particular did well with both parties. This is unusual since religious groups tend to nest under one political banner or another. Catholics tend to side with Republicans on some issues and Democrats on others. Whether a Catholic votes one way or another depends on what issues matter the most to the individual.

This finding makes Catholics extremely influential as they form the single most important swing block in the nation. That means it will continue to be Catholics who elect Presidents, are seated on the Supreme Court, and win local races. With American culture in secular upheaval, this is another bit of good news.

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