Pew Research Center study reveals how Americans feel about different religions

Mar 17, 2023, 5:00 PM
a choir sings, a new religious study explored likeability of different faiths...
The Victory Outreach choir sings during a celebration called “In Harmony Together: A Sacred Music Event” at the Columbus Center in South Salt Lake on Wednesday, March 4, 2020. During the event, nearly a dozen different faith-based organizations and community groups came together to share their culture and beliefs through music, dance and the spoken word. (Scott G. Winterton/Deseret News)
(Scott G. Winterton/Deseret News)

WASHINGTON D.C.  —  The Pew Research Center recently released its findings on a study on religion. The study was to discover how Americans felt about different religious groups. A questionnaire went out to over 10,000 households in the U.S.

According to the study, the sample represented the “U.S. adult population to the greatest extent possible.” This includes adults representing all 50 states.

The study asked about seven different religious groups in the United States. It specifically asked if the religion was favorable or unfavorable.

The seven religious groups included:

  • Jews
  • Mainline Protestants 
  • Catholics
  • Evangelical Christians
  • Muslims
  • The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
  • Atheists 

The majority of those studied said they didn’t know enough about the religion to say whether they were favorable or unfavorable.

But, if they knew a member of that religion they were more likely to view it favorably.

Additionally, if they belonged to the religious group in question they would vote favorably. 

Although some from one religious group voted favorably for other religious groups, others did not.

“54% of Latter-Day Saints feel positively toward evangelical Christians,” according to Pew Research Center, but “the feelings are not reciprocal.” 

Only 15% of Evangelical Christians felt positive toward the Church of Jesus Christ.

Overall findings

Out of the seven religious groups included in the survey, with a favorability rating of 35%, those of the Jewish faith had the highest score.

The Church of Jesus Christ has the lowest favorable percentage of 15%.

However, the religious group with the highest unfavorable percentage is Evangelical Christians with 27%.

On the other hand, the survey did not delve into why the individuals liked or disliked certain religious groups.

Past surveys

Pew Research Center has previously done this survey. Overall, the idea was the same with mostly the same religious groups included in the survey.

In 2014, 2017 and 2019 the survey asked participants to rate on a thermometer the warmth that they feel for a certain religious group. 

The 2014 and 2017 studies found that the Jewish religion held the warmest feelings while Muslims held the least.

The 2019 survey focused on asking the participants if they knew someone in the religious groups. In conclusion, they found that if a person knew someone they had warmer feelings toward that religion. 

Over the years, the Jewish religion has stayed high on the likability scale.

Additionally, Muslims have gradually moved up the scale and the Church of Jesus Christ has moved lower on the scale.

Also, it has stayed true through the years that a person will rate a religious group higher if they themselves are part of that group, or if they know someone who is in that group. 

Related reading:

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Today’s Top Stories

Race, Religion + Social Justice

The Vatican says Pope Francis will be hospitalized for several days for treatment of a pulmonary in...
NICOLE WINFIELD Associated Press

Vatican: Pope Francis goes to hospital, cancels audiences

A Vatican spokesman said Pope Francis, 86, does not have COVID-19 but he will require several days of breathing therapy.
22 hours ago
Earlier this week, the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announce...
Mark Jones

Open house and dedication of Feather River Temple will be later this year

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced this week the open house and dedication dates for the Feather River California Temple.
6 days ago
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints salt lake temple...
Elizabeth Weiler

The Salt Lake Temple renovation has a new completion date

"When working with historic structures such as this pioneer-era temple, unexpected challenges are inevitable," wrote the Church about the Salt Lake Temple.
7 days ago
a person cleans an archway ahead of Ramadan...
Associated Press

Muslims across the world mark start of holy month of Ramadan

More than 1.8 billion Muslims, who account for around a quarter of the world’s population, are expected to observe Ramadan.
8 days ago
Jacob Hauver

General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

On April 1 & 2, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will come together to hear guidance and inspiration from church leaders.
8 days ago
usu sign is pictured, a lawsuit has been filed against the school...
Hugo Rikard-Bell

USU grad files lawsuit against university for racist caricature

USU released a statement about the lawsuit and said the school followed its non-discrimination policy when the student initially made the complaint.
9 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Cheerful young woman writing an assignment while sitting at desk between two classmates during clas...
BYU EMBA at the Marriott School of Business

Hear it Firsthand: 6 Students Share Their Executive MBA Experience at BYU’s Marriott School of Business

The Executive MBA program at BYU offers great opportunities. Hear experiences straight from students enrolled in the program.
Skier being towed by a rider on a horse. Skijoring....
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking for a new winter activity? Try skijoring in Bear Lake

Skijoring is when someone on skis is pulled by a horse, dog, animal, or motor vehicle. The driver leads the skiers through an obstacle course over jumps, hoops, and gates.
Banner with Cervical Cancer Awareness Realistic Ribbon...
Intermountain Health

Five common causes of Cervical Cancer – and what you can do to lower your risk

January is National Cervical Cancer Awareness month and cancer experts at Intermountain Health are working to educate women about cervical cancer.
Kid holding a cisco fish at winterfest...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Get ready for fun at the 2023 Bear Lake Monster Winterfest

The Bear Lake Monster Winterfest is an annual weekend event jam-packed full of fun activities the whole family can enjoy.
happy friends with sparklers at christmas dinner...

15 easy Christmas dinner ideas

We’ve scoured the web for you and narrowed down a few of our favorite Christmas dinner ideas to make your planning easy.
Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...

5 Game Day Snacks for the Whole Family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Pew Research Center study reveals how Americans feel about different religions