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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.

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Feb. 21, 2013

U.S. Catholics Divided On Church’s Direction Under New Pope

As the pontificate of Benedict XVI winds down, three-quarters of American Catholics express a favorable view of the pontiff. Meanwhile, most U.S. Catholics say it would be good if the next pope allows priests to marry. And fully six-in-ten say it would be good if the next pope hails from a developing region like South America, Asia or Africa.

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Feb. 13, 2013

The Global Catholic Population

Over the past century, the number of Catholics worldwide has more than tripled. But the world’s overall population also has risen rapidly from 1910 to 2010. As a result, Catholics have made up a remarkably stable share of all people on Earth, though their geographic distribution has changed substantially.

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Dec. 18, 2012

The Global Religious Landscape

A country-by-country analysis of data from more than 2,500 censuses, surveys and population registers finds that 84% of adults and children around the globe are religiously affiliated. The study also finds that the median age of two major groups – Muslims (23 years) and Hindus (26) – is younger than the world’s overall population (28), while Jews have the highest median age (36).

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Dec. 14, 2012

Americans Learned Little About the Mormon Faith, But Some Attitudes Have Softened

Eight-in-ten Americans say they learned little or nothing about the Mormon religion during the 2012 presidential campaign, according to a new Pew Research Center poll. At the same time, poll findings suggest some warming of attitudes toward Mormonism, especially among religious groups that voted heavily for Mitt Romney.

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Dec. 7, 2012

Election 2012 Post Mortem: White Evangelicals and Support for Romney

Leading up to the election, there was speculation about how strongly white evangelical Protestants would support a Mormon candidate. According to a new Pew Research Center analysis of exit poll data, white evangelicals voted for Mitt Romney with as much enthusiasm as his other supporters did.

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Nov. 12, 2012

Catholics’ Views of U.S. Bishops

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops will meet in Baltimore for their annual Fall General Assembly on Nov. 12-15. Seven-in-ten Catholics say they are very (24%) or somewhat satisfied (46%) with the leadership of the American bishops, according to a Pew Research Center Survey.

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Oct. 11, 2012

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.

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Aug. 30, 2012

Mormonism in the 2012 Election

A new slideshow highlights recent Pew Research Center data on voters’ views of the Mormon religion and Mormons’ opinions on their place in society.

Aug. 6, 2012

Catholics’ Views on U.S. Nuns

On Aug. 7, the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, an organization that represents U.S. nuns, will meet in St. Louis to discuss how to respond to recent criticism from the Vatican, the Associated Press reports. A Pew Research Center survey finds that eight-in-ten American Catholics (83%) are satisfied with the leadership provided by Catholic nuns and sisters.