Barna: Most (but not Millenials) Americans concerned about religious freedom

January 23, 2013 No Comments by Deb Wagner

Edited from an article by Bethany Monk, CitizenLink.com, Jan. 22, 2013

A study reveals that most Americans believe that threats to their religious freedoms will continue to increase over the next five years.

Barna Group, a Ventura, Calif., research company focused on the intersection of faith and culture, released its study “Most Americans are Concerned About Restrictions in Religious Freedom” on Friday.

Clint Jenkin, Barna Group senior director of research, told CitizenLink the data didn’t reveal anything too exciting.

“It’s pretty much what we were expecting,” he said.

One thing stood out, though.

“The generational differences were pretty dramatic,” Jenkin said. “As you get younger, there is less concern about religious freedom, either from lack of awareness of concern.”

Only 19 percent of Christians who are Millennials — those ages 18-to-28 — are “very concerned” that religious freedoms are becoming more restricted.

According to the study, slightly more than half of adults reported that they were either “very” or “somewhat concerned” that religious freedom in the U.S. will become more restricted.

Those who are religious are more concerned than others, with Christians showing more concern than other faiths.

Seventy-one percent of Barna-defined evangelicals — who meet a series of nine theological criteria — reported to be “most likely” to be concerned about such restrictions. Forty-six percent of practicing Protestants reported being “very concerned”; 30 percent of practicing Catholics said that are “concerned.”

The research, conducted in partnership with Clapham Groups — a Washington, D.C.-based consulting firm — included 1,008 adults from different religious backgrounds.

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