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Support for Muslim ban up among white evangelicals

Artist Shepard Fairey, who created the 2008 "Hope" poster of Barack Obama, has produced a new set of images in time for Donald Trump's inauguration. RNS photo by Lauren Markoe

(RNS) Support for a temporary ban on Muslims entering the United States has dropped among all religious groups — except white evangelicals.


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Declining Support for Temporary Ban on Muslims Except Among White Evangelicals. Graphic courtesy of PRRI

In fact, among this group support for such a ban has only solidified since last May, when President Trump campaigned on that promise, according to a survey released Friday (Feb. 24) by Public Religion Research Institute, or PRRI.

A majority of white evangelical Protestants still favor banning Muslims temporarily from coming to the U.S., according to PRRI. That number has risen to 61 percent, up from 55 percent in 2016.

A majority of all white Christians — including Catholics (52 percent) and white mainline Protestants (51 percent) — had reported favoring the policy last year. That number has dropped to 44 percent of white Catholics and 39 percent of white mainline Protestants, according to PRRI.

Only 27 percent of nonwhite Protestants favor a ban, down from 34 percent.


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In total, just 35 percent of Americans support a temporary ban on Muslims entering the country, down from 40 percent in 2016.

Trump issued an executive order impacting immigrants and refugees in late January; it has since been blocked by the courts.

PRRI also found white Christian groups report more favorable feelings toward Trump in general than other Americans do. A majority of white evangelical Protestants (74 percent), white Catholics (55 percent), and white mainline Protestants (53 percent) reported a favorable view of Trump.

But just 31 percent of nonwhite Protestants and religiously unaffiliated Americans, 26 percent of Americans belonging to non-Christian religions and 25 percent of Hispanic Catholics reported a favorable view of the president. That’s even lower than the general public at 43 percent — a number that has not moved since last year.

PRRI surveyed 2,031 American adults by phone between Feb. 10 and Feb. 19, according to its methodology. The margin of error for the survey is plus or minus 2.6 percentage points, it said.

This story is available for republication.

About the author

Emily McFarlan Miller

Emily McFarlan Miller is a national reporter for RNS based in Chicago. She covers evangelical and mainline Protestant Christianity.

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