Gallup survey shows low confidence in church, organized religion in US
Published: July 13, 2012
PRINCETON, N.J. (CNS) -- Americans' confidence in "church and organized religion" has been on the decline since 1973 and Catholics' confidence in that institution remains lower than that of Protestants, according to the results of a new Gallup survey released July 12. Forty-six percent of Catholics express "a great deal or quite a lot of confidence" in the church and organized religion, compared to 56 percent of Protestants. Overall, 44 percent of Americans expressed that same level of confidence in church/organized religion. The percentage is slightly lower than what Gallup has found in recent years; in 2002, it was 45 percent and in 2007, 46 percent. "This follows a long-term decline in Americans' confidence in religion since the 1970s," Gallup said. In 1973, 66 percent said they had a high level of confidence in religion. This latest poll also found Americans' confidence in public schools, banks and television news is at its "all-time lowest, perhaps reflecting a broader souring of Americans' confidence in societal institutions in 2012," it added. Still, church and organized religion ranked fourth among the 16 institutions on the survey, it noted. Gallup said the difference between Catholics' and Protestants' confidence level in 2012 is "in line with an average 12-percentage-point difference" between the two groups' outlook seen in its polling since 2002, "with Protestants consistently expressing higher confidence." It said there were too few respondents of other religions to break out separate figures for confidence levels in each of those faiths, but taken as a single group, only 29 percent of those of all other faiths expressed "a great deal or quite a lot of confidence," which is "far less than either Protestants or Catholics."
Copyright (c) Catholic News Service /U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. The CNS news report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed, including but not limited to such means as framing or any other digital copying or distribution method, in whole or in part without the prior written authority of Catholic News Service .