The Pew Research Center has released a study on Americans’ views of different religious groups, including Muslims, Jews, mainline Protestants, and Catholics. The study was conducted in September 2022 with 10,588 US adults through a random survey of residential addresses. It also asked about views on atheists. Overall, most respondents chose to remain neutral when discussing opinions about other religious and non-religious groups. When respondents did choose between “very/somewhat favorable” and “very/somewhat unfavorable,” the poll found that Americans viewed Jews, Catholics, and mainline Protestants in a mostly positive light. Evangelical Christians had the highest unfavorable view at 27 percent, with 28 percent of respondents saying they had a favorable view of evangelical Christians. When Americans who did not describe themselves as evangelical were factored out of the poll, evangelicals’ unfavourability rate jumped to 32 percent versus 18 percent favorable. 

 Unsurprisingly, the study found that most members of a particular religious/ non-religious group viewed their own group in the most positive light, with 60 percent of evangelical Christians viewing evangelical Christians in a favorable way. The survey did have some difficulties differentiating evangelical Christians from mainline Protestants. Whereas most respondents were able to pick directly if they identified as Mormon, Muslim, Catholic, etc., those who chose “Protestant” were given a follow-up question of “Would you describe yourself as a born-again or evangelical Christian?” Compelling Truth defines an evangelical Christian as “just a Christian who believes it is important to tell others the good news about how Jesus can save us from our sins” and links it with terms like “fundamentalist” and “born-again.” 

The study did suggest a political link for the lower favorability of evangelical Christians. Evangelical Christians are normally associated with the Republican party, and 47 percent of Democrats who did not identify as evangelical/ born again had an unfavorable view of evangelicals. On the other hand, only 14 percent of non-evangelical Republicans viewed evangelicals negatively. The study also found that Americans tended to view another religious group more favorably if they knew someone in the religious group, which might explain why Muslims and Mormons scored so low in favorability, as fewer Americans personally know a Muslim or Mormon. 

Generally, atheists viewed members of religious groups more unfavorably, and the trend continued on the other side of how members of religious groups viewed atheists. The study found that a rising share of Americans know someone who identifies as an atheist, rising from 65 percent in 2019 to 71 percent. Americans who knew members of other religious groups, apart from Muslims, declined slightly from 2019, with 88 percent of Americans stating they knew someone who identifies as Catholic in 2022, a slight decline from 91 percent in 2019. The number of Americans who knew someone who identified as Muslim rose from 47 percent to 50 percent. Despite reports of rising antisemitism in America, all groups tended to view Jews more favorably, whether they knew someone who identified as Jewish or not. 

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