Survey findsAmericans flexible on faith tenets and interpretations
The Pew Religious Landscape Survey
Jul 15, 2008
Think you know what Americans believe about religion? Think again.
• Seven in ten Americans who follow one particular faith believe that many religions can lead to eternal life.
• Asked if there is “more than one true way to interpret” the teachings of their faith, 82 percent of mainline Protestants and 77 percent of Catholics said yes. A majority of evangelicals (53 percent) also agreed with that statement.
• More than one-fourth of people not affiliated with a faith nevertheless attend religious services at least occasionally. And about 20 percent of self-identified atheists still believe in God as an impersonal force or spirit.
A report released June 23 by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life demonstrates the myriad ways that faith in America is more nondogmatic and nuanced than it may appear.