Religious Freedom by the Numbers

  • According to a comprehensive survey by the International Panel on Social Progress, over 80% of Americans believe the ability to freely practice (or not practice) their own religion is very important, and over 70% believe that it is very important for there to be freedom of religion for people of other faiths. – International Panel on Social Progress, 2018
  • According to the Pew Research Center, 56% of Americans do not believe a belief in God is necessary for morality, a significant increase from 49% of the same opinion in 2011, which correlates closely with the increase of religious “nones,” whose numbers in these surveys have increased from 18% in 2011 to 25% in 2017. – Pew Research Center, 2017
  • According to Pew Research Center, four out of ten Americans (39%) believe “religious institutions make little to no contribution” in helping address major social problems, while a majority (58%) believe that religion has “a great deal” or “some” effect in combating social ills. – Pew Research Center, 2016.
  • According to the First Liberty Institute, there were over 1,400 cases of discrimination against people of faith during 2016.  Cases of discrimination encompassed areas of society, government action, the military, and business, a 133% increase from 2011. – First Liberty, 2017
  • The FBI indicates that out of 7,175 reported hate crimes in 2017, 1,679 or 23% were motivated by anti-religious bigotry. Of those reported figures, 58% were anti-Semitic, 18% were anti-Muslim and 4% were anti-Catholic. – FBI, 2017
  • As compared to 2014, Americans in 2017 have warmer feelings toward people of all faiths, with Jews and Catholics receiving best ratings and evangelical Christians’ ratings remaining static. – Pew Research Center, 2017
  • “Religion in the United States today contributes $1.2 trillion each year to our economy and society. These contributions range from the basic economic drivers of any business—staff, overhead, utilities—to billions spent on philanthropic programs, educational institutions and health care services. Congregations, businesses inspired by faith, faith-based charities and institutions not only build communities and families but also strengthen our economy in every town and city of the country.” – Brian Grim, “The Socio-Economic Contributions of Religion to American Society: An Empirical Analysis,” 2016

This resource is part of the Religious Freedom topic.

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