Hindus rated "fairly warmly" in US, survey reveals

Survey finds Jews Catholics America’s most-liked religious groups

That may help explain the high favorability rating for Catholics, as 87 percent of Americans said they personally know a Catholic, 10 points ahead of the next-highest group, "not religious", at 77 percent. The "chilly" ratings were scores between 0 and 33, the "warmer" ratings between 67 and 100, and the neutral ratings in between those two.

The Pew Research Center survey asked Americans to rate a variety of groups on a "feeling thermometer" ranging from 0 to 100, with United States adults giving almost all groups warmer ratings than they did in a June 2014 survey. Evangelical Christians remained at 61 percent, just above Buddhists and Hindus, although Mainline Protestants scored higher than them, at 65 percent.

While for the most part Jews and Christians tend to rate each other warmly, atheists and evangelicals continue to view each other in a negative light. Hindus' rating was 58, Buddhists' was 60. "The increase in mean ratings is broad based", according to the authors. We totally crush Mormons (54 percent), which doesn't seem fair, since they are better-looking than we are, better at business, divorce less, and know the Old Testament as well as we do.

Young adults, on average, tended to rate all religions within a small range, from 54 degrees for Mormons to 66 degrees for Buddhists. All religious groups fell within the "neutral" rating area of 34 to 66.

Millennials gave Muslims 58 percent likeability, with atheists 59 percent - the same as evangelicals and Mainline Protestants, who were also rated at 59 percent.

And in general, respondents with higher educational background expressed more positive feelings toward all religious groups than did those with lower educational achievements.

A Pew Research Center survey released Wednesday has found that Americans as a whole are warming up to Muslims and atheists in society, with younger people saying the like them as much as they do evangelical Christians.

Even those groups that Americans are the most cool towards, Muslims and atheists, had significantly higher ratings than they did in the last survey, rising from 40 and 41 respectively, to 48 and 50. By contrast, older Americans (ages 65 and older) rate some religious groups, such as mainline Protestants (75) and Jews (74), very warmly, and others, such as Muslims and atheists (44 degrees each), much more coolly.

Similarly, about half of US adults (49%) rate Catholics at 67 degrees or higher. This six-point gain has moved Mormons toward the "warm" side of the spectrum, according to Pew. Pew reports that Evangelicals are the highest rated religious group in the Republican Party.

Perhaps the most cheering results in the survey? Ratings from both political persuasions were warmer views overall. That 31-point spread was narrowed considerably among younger Americans (ages 18-29), who divided the highest- and lowest-ranked religious groups by only 12 points.

Oldsters still dislike atheists even more than they fear Muslims, but it's a close call.

As for the ratings from the Republican-aligned participants, Mormons were at the middle of the religious pack with a rating of 57, with the Republican ratings ranging from the lows given to Muslims (39) and atheists (43) to the foursome of evangelical Christians, Catholics, Jews and mainline Protestants in the "warm" areas with ratings between 68 and 71.



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