Freethought Today · April 2017

Published by the Freedom From Religion Foundation, Inc.

Evangelicals feel discriminated against

Poll shows they think it's worse for them than Muslims.

White evangelicals, the group that voted overwhelmingly for Donald Trump in the presidential election, believe that there is more discrimination against Christians than Muslims in the United States.

That group was the only group to believe the discrimination was higher against Christians, according to a recent poll by the Public Religion Research Institute.

Overall, respondents were twice as likely to say Muslims face discrimination as they were to say the same about Christians. Democrats were four times more likely to see Muslim discrimination, and non-religious people more than three.

In terms of crimes, Muslims fare far worse than Christians: 22 percent of religiously motivated crimes are against Muslims, compared to the 13.6 percent against Catholics, Protestants, Mormons and other Christian denominations combined. Considering that Muslims make up less than 1 percent of the American population, compared to Christians' 70 percent, these numbers are even more glaring. (Jews, the group of people who are most likely to be the target of hate crimes, were not included in the PRRI survey as a category.)

In the survey, white Catholics and white mainline Protestants were both in line with the American average: Each group was roughly twice as likely to say Muslims face discrimination compared to how they see the Christian experience.

Among the white evangelical Protestants, 57 percent said there's a lot of discrimination against Christians, but only 44 percent said the same thing about Muslims.

Historical data shows white evangelicals perceive even less discrimination against Muslims now than they did a few years ago. When this question was asked in a 2013 PRRI survey, 59 percent of white evangelicals said they think Muslims face a lot of discrimination. As late as October 2016, 56 percent said this was the case. In February of this year, that number had dropped by 12 percentage points.

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