U.S. Christians Often Hear Their Clergy Speak About Jews - and It's Not Always Positive

Pew Research Center on religion and public life published their latest survey on faith in the United States on Friday

FILE: An evangelical prays during a Mass at a church
Ramon Espinosa,AP

Thirty-nine percent of American Christians who attend church have heard their clergy speak out about Jews, and 9 percent have heard them say something negative.

That’s according to a new study published Friday by the Pew Research Center on religion and public life.

The survey found that American Jews were ambivalent toward the role of religion in public life.

Some other numbers among the churchgoing Christians:

-20 percent have heard their clergy speak positively about Jews.
-8 percent have heard both positive and negative things from clergy.
-1 percent have heard mostly negative things.
-9 percent have heard neither positive nor negative things from their clergy about Jews.

The survey included responses from 6,384 adults, including 3,886 Christians and 290 Jews. The overall margin of error was 1.7 percent overall, 2.1 for Christians and 8.9 for Jews.

Here are some more takeaways:

47 percent of Jews say religious organizations do more good than harm, 31 percent say they do more harm than good, and 21 percent say they “don’t make much difference.”

Most Jews — 81 percent — believe religion’s influence is declining in American life. Thirty-five percent of American Jews say that’s a bad thing and 25 percent say it’s a good thing.

58 percent say religion has too much influence over American politics. Sixty-nine percent say houses of worship should stay out of politics.

Christians are more supportive of religious influence in public life: 67 percent say religious organizations do more good than harm, 58 percent say declining religious influence is a bad thing and 21 percent say religion has too much influence on politics.