Gallup: Small Majority in US Still Think Religion Can Answer Most Problems

Lauretta  Brown
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Posted: Jun 05, 2017 5:00 PM
Gallup: Small Majority in US Still Think Religion Can Answer Most Problems

A recent Gallup poll found that 55 percent of Americans believe that religion can answer most problems. This percentage is a large decline from the 82 percent of Americans who believed that in 1957 but a slight rise from the all-time low of 51 percent in May 2015.

Gallup notes that “as recently as 2002, 66% of U.S. adults expressed the same sentiment. But the measure has declined since then, reaching 51% -- the all-time low -- in May 2015. However, Americans' views on religion's relevance in answering problems have since stabilized in the 53% to 55% range. The broad trend aligns with declines in church attendance and fewer Americans saying they believe in God or a creationist viewpoint.”

The poll also found that 34 percent of Americans say religion is "largely old-fashioned and out of date," a view that is up from 7 percent in 1957 and near the all-time high of 35 percent.

Among those with religious preferences, 71 percent of Protestants or other Christians and 60 percent of Catholics believe that religion can answer most problems. 81 percent of those with no religious preference say religion is old-fashioned and out of date.

In terms of political affiliation 71 percent of Republicans say that religion can solve all or most problems, compared with just 50 percent of independents and 47 percent of Democrats.

“Religious fervor may be declining,” Gallup concludes, “but with these questions, Americans still assert religion and topics relating to religion as having relevance in 21st-century life.”

The poll is “based on telephone interviews conducted May 3-7, 2017, with a random sample of 1,011 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia.”