Degree of tolerance

A balanced interpretation
A recent survey by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life found that Americans are quite accepting of religions other than their own. Seventy percent of those with a religious affiliation agreed that “many religions can lead to eternal life.” Among mainline Protestants that figure jumped to 83 percent, and among Catholics, to 79 percent. As would be expected, the response among evangelical Protestants was lower; still, well over half of evangelicals—57 percent—agreed that “many religions can lead to eternal life.” More than 80 percent of Jews, Hindus and Buddhists agreed with the statement, and more than half of Muslims did.

The figures may be misleading. One suspects that many Christian respondents, when they heard the reference to “many religions,” thought about Christian denominations other than their own, not about other religions. (Methodists may have been thinking about Baptists, not about Muslims.)

 

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