A recent study conducted by the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty found that the majority of Americans favor religious freedom and maintain an attitude that government should have minimum interference in religion.
The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty released their first annual Religious Freedom Index on Wednesday. The survey revealed that respondents strongly support the preservation of “the free expression of all faiths.” According to Lifenews:
The study polled a nationally representative sample of 1,000 American adults in an online survey conducted throughout September and October, scoring individual responses on an index indicator scale of zero to 100, with zero representing minimal support for religious freedom and 100 indicating robust support.
According to the survey, 67 out of 100 points on the index indicator score support religious freedom protections. The study also found that the majority of Americans are “uncomfortable with the idea of the government penalizing groups and individuals for living out their religious beliefs,” and instead prefer “a culture of accommodation for minority faith practices.”
“Even after decades of religious freedom being pulled into the culture wars, Americans accept and support a broad interpretation of religious freedom,” the study says. The report went on to add that support for religious freedom is high among younger generations.
“Overall, the results show that all Americans 18 and up share a strong support of robust religious freedom protections,” Becket’s Director of Research, Caleb Lyman, told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “For millennials specifically, they outperform other age groups in their desire to protect minority faiths, including their religious practice in the workplace. In addition to millennial’s’ strong desire to protect minority faiths, they also report experiencing religious discrimination at a higher rate than older generations.”
As mentioned previously, the Religious Freedom Index is the first one of its kind issued by the Becket Fund. The Index is intended to be used as a resource for understanding the current state of religious freedom, according to Becket President and Senior Counsel Mark Rienzi.
“Over the last 25 years, Becket has made a name for itself as the premier religious liberty law firm in the nation, representing people of all faiths and political views. We are eager to contribute a new tool for understanding American’s sentiments towards our first freedom,” Rienzi said in a statement to the Daily Caller News Foundation.
Rienzi stated his hope that the Religious Freedom Index will eventually become a valuable resource to anyone studying cultural attitudes about religion and religious freedom in the United States.