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USA News

80% of Americans think religion is losing its public influence, survey shows

by Heather Preston

A new report has found eight in ten US adults think the role of religion is becoming less significant in American society.

Pew Research Centre surveyed 12,693 respondents on the role of religion within the public sphere. It found most Americans believe its influence on public life is shrinking, with 49 per cent of those seeing this as negative.

Eight per cent thought religious influence was increasing and were happy about it. The Pew Research Centre suggests that many Americans feel a conflict between their religious beliefs and mainstream culture, with 41 per cent saying they avoid religious discussion with those who hold differing views.

The research also suggests that republicans are more likely to value religious qualities in a president than democrats are. When considering the proper role of faith in society, the data revealed that 21 per cent of republicans think Christianity should be declared the USA’s official religion, compared with just seven per cent of democrats. It also found 42 per cent of republicans (and republican-leaning independents) think the Bible should have more influence on law than the will of the people when the two are in conflict.

According to the poll, around half of US adults see it as important to have a president who holds strong religious beliefs, even if they differ from their own. Ninety-four per cent said it was important to have a president who lives both morally and ethically and 64 per cent thought it was important a president stood up for religious beliefs.

However, only 13 per cent consider President Joe Biden as very religious, and just four per cent regard former President Donald Trump as very religious.

Americans will head to the polls in November to elect the next US president.

Incumbent President Joe Biden, a member of the Democratic Party, is running for re-election. His predecessor Donald Trump, a member of the Republican Party, is running for re-election for a second, nonconsecutive term.


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