More than two-thirds of Americans have favorable view of religious liberty

The vast majority of Americans generally have favorable views regarding religious liberty, a fundamental constitutional right, according to new polling data.

“Even after decades of religious freedom being pulled into the culture wars, Americans accept and support a broad interpretation of religious freedom,” says the 2019 Religious Freedom Index, published Wednesday by Becket, a nonprofit law firm specializing in religious liberty issues.

The survey found that more than two-thirds of Americans hold favorable views of religious freedom.

The survey, taken last month, used an online questionnaire in which respondents gave their views on issues like whether or not people who believe in traditional man-woman marriage ought to be penalized by government and whether religious headgear should be permitted at work.

Almost nine-in-10 respondents said people ought to be able to choose their faith and practice it without facing harm or discrimination.

Nearly 76 percent said professionals ought to be free to not participate in actions or work that violates their closely-held religious beliefs.

“[Religious freedom] could be an area where Americans are more united than divided,” Caleb Lyman, Becket’s director of researcher and analytics, said Wednesday in unveiling the index in Washington, D.C.

Adelle Banks, editor at Religion News Service who spoke at a panel Wednesday, also said it’s a misconception to believe that Millennials are not religious, generally.

“I do think that there is an assumption that people who are millennials don’t care about God or faith, and that’s not necessarily the case,” she said.

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