Poll: More Americans, majority of Christian Millennials believe religious freedom is worse than 10 years ago

ADF-commissioned Barna study shows many believe religious freedom has gotten worse in past decade
Tuesday, September 22, 2015

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – A Barna poll Alliance Defending Freedom commissioned reveals that more Americans believe religious freedom is worse today than it was 10 years ago. Practicing Christian Millennials and Gen-Xers are among the most concerned.
“Americans should be able to disagree over issues without using government to force one another out of jobs or into jail,” said ADF Director of Alliance Relations Alison Howard. “It makes sense that Millennials have greater concerns about the loss of religious freedom, as the erosion of freedom has increased in our lifetime more rapidly than in any generation before us. We’ve grown up seeing bakers, photographers, CEOs, florists, sportscasters, professors, and fire chiefs get attacked and pushed out of their careers because of their peacefully-expressed moral convictions. We’ve seen the consequences of heavy-handed government and reckless court rulings on individuals, families, businesses, and our most precious freedoms.”
The poll revealed the following findings:
  • Forty-one percent of Americans say religious freedom is worse off than 10 years ago, compared to 33 percent just three years ago.
  • Although concern is prevalent among Christians at 52 percent, it has almost doubled for Americans of other faiths from 19 percent to 32 percent, and has grown from 23 percent to 32 percent among atheists, agnostics, and the religiously unaffiliated since 2012.
  • Fifty-five percent of practicing Christian Millennials believe religious freedom is worse today, up from 32 percent in 2012.
  • Fifty-six percent of practicing Christian Millennials are “very concerned” about the future of religious freedom, up from 19 percent since 2012.
  • Sixty percent of Christian Gen-Xers believe religious freedom is worse today, compared to 40 percent in 2012.

“As a Millennial myself,” Howard added, “these findings reveal hope that the next generation of leaders will understand the need to always respect our basic freedoms and for common-sense accommodations for people of faith when necessary.”
The Barna Group is a leading research organization focused on the intersection of faith and culture. The main study was conducted online with a representative sample of 1,000 U.S. adults 18-years-old and older.

Alliance Defending Freedom is an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization that advocates for the right of people to freely live out their faith.

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