A Pew Research Center survey conducted this year found that 52 percent of U.S. Muslims say homosexuality should be accepted by society. In contrast, only 34 percent of white evangelical Protestants believed in 2016 that homosexuality should be accepted by society.
The rate at which white evangelicals are shifting their views is slower than the rate for Muslims. White evangelicals shifted their views by 11 percentage points between 2006 and 2016. Muslims’ acceptance of homosexuality shot up by 25 percentage points between 2007 and 2017.
Evangelical Protestants are the largest religious group in America, making up a little more than a quarter of all Americans. And with the election of President Donald Trump, evangelical leaders have gained a significant foothold in the White House.
Evangelicals are also one of the religious groups most likely to hold negative feelings towards Muslims. Pew surveys have found that half of white evangelicals believe there is a “great deal” or “fair amount” of support for extremism among Muslims living in the U.S ― higher than any of the other religious group surveyed. They tend to believe that Islam encourages violence (63 percent) and that there is a natural conflict between Islam and democracy (72 percent).
On issues affecting queer people, white evangelicals often stand out from other American religious groups.
They are the only major religious group that favors allowing small business owners to refuse goods or services to gay and lesbian people on religious grounds (56 percent). And while 63 percent of American adults support same-sex marriage, only 34 percent of white evangelical Protestants say the same.
Surveys show that white evangelical Protestants are more likely to say that Christians face a lot of discrimination in America, than they are to say the same of Muslims. White evangelicals are the least likely religious group to say gay and lesbian Americans confront a lot of discrimination in the U.S.
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