Pew studies and analyzes issues at the intersection of religion and public affairs by conducting surveys, demographic analyses, and other research about the practice of religion and its place in American life. 

Recent work includes a major portrait of Jews in America and interviews with 38,000 Muslims around the globe to provide a more complete understanding of the beliefs and political views of members of the world’s second- largest religion.

Recent Work

February 16, 2021 Appendix B: Focus groups methodology In advance of the nationwide survey of Black Americans, Pew Research Center conducted a series of seven focus groups to better understand how Black Americans talk and think about religion, race and houses of worship. Each focus group consisted of six to 10 adults who came together for a 90-minute discussion led by a professional […]
February 16, 2021 Appendix A: Survey methodology Black Americans constitute a population that is multicultural, regionally distinctive and often underrepresented in surveys. While most national public opinion surveys allow researchers to study attitudes among all Black adults (treated as one group), deeper analysis tends to be limited. Sample sizes often are too small to support reliable estimates for young Black adults as […]
February 16, 2021 Acknowledgments This report is a collaborative effort based on the input and analysis of the following individuals. Find related reports online at Primary Researchers Besheer Mohamed, Senior Researcher Kiana Cox, Research Associate          Research Team         Alan Cooperman, Director of Religion Research Gregory A. Smith, Associate Director of Research Becka A. Alper, Senior Researcher Elizabeth Podrebarac Sciupac, […]
February 16, 2021 10. A brief overview of Black religious history in the U.S. Two-thirds of Black Americans are Protestant, like about four-in-ten Americans overall. The relationship between Black Americans and Protestantism is unusual due to the history of slavery and segregation, which spawned the creation of several Black-led denominations that allowed Black Americans to worship freely. Mostly founded prior to 1900, these historically Black Protestant denominations also supported […]
February 16, 2021 9. Interviews with Black pastors Black pastors hold a storied place in American history. During the eras of slavery and racial segregation, they played pivotal roles in Black communal efforts to “uplift the race” (a phrase commonly used in the 19th and 20th centuries). This often included organizing job training, after-school mentoring, insurance collectives, athletic clubs and other community service […]
February 16, 2021 8. Religion and politics Overall, Black Americans are more likely than the larger U.S. public to both say it is important for sermons to touch on political topics, and to hear sermons that actually do. And Black Americans differ from White adults in the United States in that there’s little link between their party identification and their levels of […]
February 16, 2021 7. Gender, sexuality and religion Roughly seven-in-ten Black Christians say that opposing sexism is essential to their faith, as do a similar share of those who belong to other religions. And most Black Americans say that women should be able to serve as senior religious leaders of congregations. However, much smaller shares say they have actually heard recent sermons on […]
February 16, 2021 6. Race in the religious lives of Black Americans Race shapes Black Americans’ personal and religious lives. Nearly seven-in-ten say that being Black is very important to how they think about their own identity. Likewise, across religious groups, roughly three-quarters say that opposing racism is an essential part of their faith, and seven-in-ten religiously unaffiliated adults say this is essential to being a moral […]