pewforum.org Topics Religious Affiliation

Christian

Explore Pew Forum publications—including public opinion polls, demographic reports, research studies, event transcripts and interviews—about the Christian religion and its members, as well as many of the religious groups that it encompasses: evangelical Protestants, mainline Protestants, members of historically black Protestant churches, Catholics, Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Orthodox Christians and other Christians.

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Global Christianity
A comprehensive demographic study finds that there are 2.18 billion Christians of all ages around the world, representing nearly a third of the estimated 2010 global population of 6.9 billion. Christians are also geographically widespread, and no single region can indisputably claim to be the center of global Christianity.
Brazil’s Changing Religious Landscape
As young Catholics gather in Brazil, awaiting Pope Francis' visit in celebration of World Youth Day, an analysis of census data finds that the share of Brazil’s population that identifies as Catholic has been dropping steadily in recent decades. Over the same period, the percentage of Brazilians who belong to Protestant churches has been rising.
Canada’s Changing Religious Landscape
As Canadians prepare to celebrate Canada Day on July 1, a new Pew Research Center analysis of Canadian census and survey data finds that more Canadians belong to minority faiths than ever before. In addition, the number of Canadians with no religious affiliation has been rising, and attendance at religious services has been dropping.
Applying God’s Law: Religious Courts and Mediation in the U.S.
Across the U.S., religious courts operate on a routine, everyday basis. How do some of the country's major Christian traditions and other religions - including Islam, Judaism, Buddhism and Hinduism - decide internal matters and apply their religious laws?
U.S. Catholics Express Favorable View of Pope Francis
In the early days of Pope Francis' papacy, more than eight-in-ten U.S. Catholics (84%) say they have a favorable impression of the new pontiff, including 43% who express a very favorable view.
U.S. Christians’ Views on the Return of Christ
Easter is one of the most important religious holidays of the year for many Christians – a time to celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. According to a 2010 Pew Research Center survey, roughly half (48%) of Christians in the U.S. say they believe that Christ will definitely (27%) or probably (20%) return to earth in the next 40 years. Somewhat fewer (38%) say this definitely will not happen (10%) or probably will not happen (28%).
Latin America’s Catholics in the Spotlight as Pope Francis is Installed
Latin America's share of the global Catholic population has increased over the past century, according to Pew Research Center estimates, but the portion of the region’s population that is Catholic has declined.
U.S. Catholics Happy with Selection of Pope Francis
In a new Pew Research Center poll, nearly three-quarters of U.S. Catholics say they are happy with the selection of Pope Francis. But they are divided over how big a change he represents for the church.
Resources on Catholicism and the Pope
The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life has a variety of resources on Catholicism and Pope Benedict XVI, including public opinion polls, research studies, event transcripts and interviews. 
‘Strong’ Catholic Identity at a Four-Decade Low in U.S.
The percentage of U.S. Catholics with a strong identification with the Catholic Church was as low in 2012 as it has ever been in General Social Surveys. During the same period, the percentage of Protestants who consider themselves strong members of their faith has been rising.
Conclave Elects Pope Francis
Pope Francis was elected on Wednesday as the new leader of the Roman Catholic Church. Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio hails from Argentina and becomes the first Latin American pontiff. According to Pew Research Center data on the distribution of the world's Catholic population, the largest share of the Catholic population (39%) lives in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Geography of the Conclave: Where Do the Cardinals Come From?
The conclave to elect the next pope will begin on Tuesday, March 12. Half of the cardinal electors gathering at the Vatican are European (52%), while 17% come from Latin America. Latin America has the largest share of the world's Catholic population (39%), while 24% of Catholics live in Europe. 
U.S. Catholics See Sex Abuse as the Church’s Most Important Problem, Charity as Its Most Important Contribution
U.S. Catholics see the scandal over sex abuse by clergy as the most important problem facing the church today and charitable efforts to aid the poor, feed the hungry and heal the sick as the church's most important contribution.
During Benedict’s Papacy, Religious Observance Among Catholics in Europe Remained Low but Stable
When Benedict XVI was elected pope in 2005, religious observance among Europeans had been in decline for decades, and he set out to stem the tide of secularization. How successful was he? Pew Research polls indicate that during his papacy, religious observance among Catholics in France, Germany, Spain and Italy remained low but fairly stable.
U.S. Catholics Divided On Church’s Direction Under New Pope
As the pontificate of Benedict XVI winds down, three-quarters of American Catholics express a favorable view of the pontiff. Meanwhile, most U.S. Catholics say it would be good if the next pope allows priests to marry. And fully six-in-ten say it would be good if the next pope hails from a developing region like South America, Asia or Africa. 
The Global Catholic Population
Over the past century, the number of Catholics worldwide has more than tripled. But the world’s overall population also has risen rapidly from 1910 to 2010. As a result, Catholics have made up a remarkably stable share of all people on Earth, though their geographic distribution has changed substantially.
Religious Groups' Official Positions on Abortion
A breakdown of 17 major religious groups' views on the issue of abortion.  
The Global Religious Landscape
A country-by-country analysis of data from more than 2,500 censuses, surveys and population registers finds that 84% of adults and children around the globe are religiously affiliated. The study also finds that the median age of two major groups – Muslims (23 years) and Hindus (26) – is younger than the world’s overall population (28), while Jews have the highest median age (36).
Americans Learned Little About the Mormon Faith, But Some Attitudes Have Softened
Eight-in-ten Americans say they learned little or nothing about the Mormon religion during the 2012 presidential campaign, according to a new Pew Research Center poll. At the same time, poll findings suggest some warming of attitudes toward Mormonism, especially among religious groups that voted heavily for Mitt Romney.
Religious Groups' Official Positions on Same-Sex Marriage
In recent years, same-sex marriage has been a contentious subject within many religious groups in the U.S. Here is an overview of where 16 religious groups stand on this issue.  
Catholics’ Views of U.S. Bishops
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops will meet in Baltimore for their annual Fall General Assembly on Nov. 12-15. Seven-in-ten Catholics say they are very (24%) or somewhat satisfied (46%) with the leadership of the American bishops, according to a Pew Research Center Survey.
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