Global Religious Diversity
A new report measures religious diversity by the percentage of each country’s population in eight categories — Buddhists, Christians, Hindus, Muslims, Jews, the unaffiliated, folk religionists and members of other religions.
Shrinking Majority of Americans Support Death Penalty
According to a 2013 Pew Research Center survey, 55% of U.S. adults say they favor the death penalty for persons convicted of murder. A significant minority (37%) oppose the practice.
Health Care Law’s ‘Contraception Mandate’ Reaches the Supreme Court
On March 25, the Supreme Court will hear arguments in two cases challenging regulations arising from the Affordable Care Act. Both cases involve for-profit businesses whose owners object – for religious reasons – to free coverage of contraceptive services in their employees’ health insurance plans.
How U.S. Catholics View Pope Francis: In Their Own Words
U.S. Catholics View Pope Francis as a Change for the Better
One year into his pontificate, Pope Francis remains immensely popular among American Catholics and is widely seen as a force for positive change within the Roman Catholic Church. More than 80% of U.S. Catholics say they have a favorable view of the pontiff.
Russians Return to Religion, But Not to Church
Between 1991 and 2008, the share of Russian adults identifying as Orthodox Christian rose from 31% to 72%, according to data from the International Social Survey Programme. During the same period, the share of Russia’s population that does not identify with any religion dropped from 61% to 18%.
Religious Hostilities Reach Six-Year High
A third of the 198 countries studied had a high or very high level of social hostilities involving religion in 2012. About three-in-ten countries had a high or very high level of government restrictions on religion, roughly the same as in 2011.
Public’s Views on Human Evolution
Six-in-ten Americans say that “humans and other living things have evolved over time,” while a third reject the idea of evolution, saying that “humans and other living things have existed in their present form since the beginning of time.”
Celebrating Christmas and the Holidays, Then and Now
Nine-in-ten Americans say they celebrate Christmas, and three-quarters say they believe in the virgin birth of Jesus. But only about half see Christmas mostly as a religious holiday, while one-third view it as more of a cultural holiday.
Views on End-of-Life Medical Treatments
Most Americans say there are some circumstances in which doctors and nurses should allow a patient to die, but a growing minority says that medical professionals should do everything possible to save a patient’s life in all circumstances.