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Apr. 8, 2013

Applying God’s Law: Religious Courts and Mediation in the U.S.

Across the U.S., religious courts operate on a routine, everyday basis. How do some of the country’s major Christian traditions and other religions – including Islam, Judaism, Buddhism and Hinduism – decide internal matters and apply their religious laws?

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Apr. 5, 2013

New York, Washington State Consider Bucking Trend on Abortion Laws

North Dakota and Arkansas are among the states that recently have passed legislation restricting access to abortion. Meanwhile, Washington state and New York are getting attention for possible action that could expand access to the procedure.

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Apr. 3, 2013

U.S. Catholics Express Favorable View of Pope Francis

In the early days of Pope Francis’ papacy, more than eight-in-ten U.S. Catholics (84%) say they have a favorable impression of the new pontiff, including 43% who express a very favorable view.

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Mar. 18, 2013

Latin America’s Catholics in the Spotlight as Pope Francis is Installed

Latin America’s share of the global Catholic population has increased over the past century, according to Pew Research Center estimates, but the portion of the region’s population that is Catholic has declined.

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Mar. 18, 2013

U.S. Catholics Happy with Selection of Pope Francis

In a new Pew Research Center poll, nearly three-quarters of U.S. Catholics say they are happy with the selection of Pope Francis. But they are divided over how big a change he represents for the church.

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Mar. 13, 2013

‘Strong’ Catholic Identity at a Four-Decade Low in U.S.

The percentage of U.S. Catholics with a strong identification with the Catholic Church was as low in 2012 as it has ever been in General Social Surveys. During the same period, the percentage of Protestants who consider themselves strong members of their faith has been rising.

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Mar. 13, 2013

Resources on Catholicism and the Pope

The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life has a variety of resources on Catholicism and Pope Benedict XVI, including public opinion polls, research studies, event transcripts and interviews.

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Mar. 6, 2013

U.S. Catholics See Sex Abuse as the Church’s Most Important Problem, Charity as Its Most Important Contribution

U.S. Catholics see the scandal over sex abuse by clergy as the most important problem facing the church today and charitable efforts to aid the poor, feed the hungry and heal the sick as the church’s most important contribution.

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Mar. 5, 2013

During Benedict’s Papacy, Religious Observance Among Catholics in Europe Remained Low but Stable

When Benedict XVI was elected pope in 2005, religious observance among Europeans had been in decline for decades, and he set out to stem the tide of secularization. How successful was he? Pew Research polls indicate that during his papacy, religious observance among Catholics in France, Germany, Spain and Italy remained low but fairly stable.

Supreme Court Building
Feb. 22, 2013

Obama Administration Weighs In on Gay Marriage Case

The Obama administration has submitted a “friend-of-the-court” brief on the legal challenge to California’s gay marriage ban, which will be argued before the U.S. Supreme Court on March 26.