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.
To End Our Days
In recent years, legislatures and courts, religious leaders and scientists, citizens and patient advocates have all weighed in on end-of-life issues ranging from whether the terminally ill should have the right to take their own lives to how much treatment and sustenance those in the last stages of life should receive.
Religious Groups’ Views on End-of-Life Issues
Religious leaders, scholars and ethicists from 16 major American religious groups explain how their faith traditions’ teachings address physician-assisted suicide, euthanasia and other end-of-life questions.
Many Sunnis and Shias Worry About Religious Conflict
This week Sunni and Shia Muslims ushered in the Islamic New Year and the beginning of the holy month of Muharram. For Shias, the month also is a time to mourn the events that sparked the centuries-old schism between Shia and Sunni Muslims. An analysis of polls conducted in 2011-2012 finds high levels of concern about sectarian tensions in several countries where Sunnis and Shias live side by side.
A Portrait of Jewish Americans
American Jews overwhelmingly say they are proud to be Jewish and have a strong sense of belonging to the Jewish people, but their identity is also changing: 22% of American Jews now say they have no religion.
Six Months Into Papacy, Large Majority of Catholics Continue To Express Favorable View of Pope Francis
After six eventful months, Pope Francis is rated favorably by eight-in-ten U.S. Catholics (79%), largely unchanged since the days immediately following his ascension to the papacy.
Abortion Viewed in Moral Terms: Fewer See Stem Cell Research and IVF as Moral Issues
Regardless of their views about the legality of abortion, most Americans think that having an abortion is a moral issue. By contrast, the public is much less likely to see other issues involving human embryos – such as stem cell research or in vitro fertilization – as a matter of morality.
Living to 120 and Beyond: Americans’ Views on Aging, Medical Advances and Radical Life Extension
If new medical treatments could slow the aging process and allow people to live to age 120 and beyond, would you want to? Most Americans say “no” – they would not want a radically extended life span. But roughly two-thirds think that most other people would.
Religious Leaders’ Views on Radical Life Extension
No religious group in the United States has released an official statement on radical life extension. However, here are brief summaries of how some clergy, bioethicists and other scholars from 18 major American religious groups say their traditions might approach this evolving issue.