Laws Penalizing Blasphemy, Apostasy and Defamation of Religion are Widespread
On Nov. 20, a Pakistani court ordered blasphemy charges dropped against a Christian teenager who had been accused of burning pages from the Quran. A new Pew Forum analysis finds that as of 2011 nearly half the countries and territories in the world have laws against blasphemy, apostasy or defamation.
Faith on the Hill: The Religious Composition of the 113th Congress
The newly elected 113th Congress includes the first Buddhist to serve in the Senate, the first Hindu to serve in either chamber and the first member of Congress to describe her religion as “none.” While Congress remains majority Protestant, the institution is far less so today than it was 50 years ago.
How the Faithful Voted: 2012 Preliminary Analysis
Obama’s margin of victory in the 2012 popular vote was smaller than in 2008. But the religious contours of the electorate were similar to recent elections – traditionally Republican groups such as white evangelicals and weekly churchgoers strongly backed Romney, while traditionally Democratic groups such as black Protestants, Hispanic Catholics, Jews and the religiously unaffiliated backed Obama by large margins.
Latinos, Religion and Campaign 2012
A recent survey finds Latino Catholic voters strongly favor Obama, while Latino evangelical Protestants are more closely divided in their support for Obama and Romney. The survey also finds rising support for same-sex marriage among Latinos.
The Catholic “Swing” Vote
Catholics are often identified as a major “swing” voting group in American politics. A new analysis shows that the only group of Catholics that has been divided in recent elections is white Catholics who identify as political moderates.
Voters in Four States to Address Same-Sex Marriage in November
Keeping track of the legal status of same-sex marriage across the country can be difficult. As voters in Maine, Maryland, Minnesota and Washington state prepare to address the issue in November, this map illustrates the situation in all 50 states.
“Nones” on the Rise
The number of Americans who do not identify with any religion continues to grow at a rapid pace. One-fifth of the U.S. public – and a third of adults under 30 – are religiously unaffiliated today, the highest percentages ever in Pew Research Center polling.
Americans Continue To Be Wary of Church Involvement in Partisan Politics
In a July 2012 Pew Research Center survey, two-thirds of American adults say churches and other houses of worship should not come out in favor of one candidate over another during political elections.
Preaching Politics From the Pulpit
During every election cycle, many churches and other religious groups find themselves wondering what role, if any, they can play in the political process. “Preaching Politics From the Pulpit” explains the IRS limits on political activity by nonprofit, tax-exempt organizations. An accompanying graphic shows that Americans continue to be wary of church involvement in partisan politics.
Rising Tide of Restrictions on Religion
Between mid-2009 and mid-2010, religious restrictions rose not only in countries that began the year with high or very high restrictions, such as Indonesia and Nigeria, but also in many countries that began with low or moderate restrictions, such as Switzerland and the United States. The report looks at restrictions due to government actions as well as acts of violence and intimidation by private individuals, organizations and social groups.