Pew updates its comprehensive survey of what US Muslims believe and do, and how their neighbors feel about them.
As segments of American society undergo a secular shift, most Muslims and Christians continue to attend worship, adhere to tenets of their traditions, and proudly identify with their faiths.
Despite this shared sense of religious devotion, as detailed in a new Pew Research Center report on US Muslims, survey data also show a huge gap in their perceptions of each other.
White evangelicals express more concerns about Muslims in America than any other religious group. Two-thirds of white evangelicals believe Islam is not part of mainstream American society, Pew found. Two-thirds also believe that Islam encourages violence more than other faiths, while half believe there is a “great deal” or “fair amount” of extremism among US Muslims.
Also, 72 percent of white evangelicals—compared to 44 percent of Americans overall—see a natural conflict between Islam and democracy. And 30 percent of Muslims themselves agree that the two are in conflict.
A small minority of Americans (6%) and Muslims (5%) attribute the tension to the belief that America is a Christian nation.
As CT reported in March, missions experts worry that evangelicals’ views of Muslims are sabotaging a long-dreamed-of moment.
“This is the best chance we’ve had in human history to share the love of Christ with Muslims,” said David Cashin, intercultural studies professor at Columbia International University and an expert in Muslim-Christian relations. “Because of these attitudes, we could miss the opportunity.”
A majority of Muslims in the Pew report believe that the rest of America does not see them as part of mainstream society (62%) and indicated they were worried about President Donald Trump (68%), whose …