Most U.S. adults say that opposing racism and racial discrimination is an essential part of their faith tradition, according to a recent Pew Research Center report.
Respondents were presented with several prompts to answer the following question: “How important is each of the following to what being [insert faith tradition here] means to you?”
Three quarters (75%) of Black respondents said “opposing racism or racial discrimination” was an “essential” part of their faith, while 16% said it was important but not essential, 6% not important and 2% didn’t answer. Pew notes that the figures don’t always equal 100% due to rounding.
By comparison, 68% of all U.S. adults said this was essential, 22% important but not essential, 9% not important and 1% did not respond.
Among Protestant respondents, 75% said opposing racism was essential to being Christian. Those attending a predominantly Black church were most likely to affirm this view at 77%, followed closely by those attending predominantly white and or multiracial congregations (both at 76%).
Among both Catholics and other Christian traditions, 77% said opposing racism was essential to their faith, while 82% of non-Christians and 71% of the religiously unaffiliated affirmed this view.
Black adults were more likely than the general public to report being mistreated because of their race in both religious and non-religious settings.
In religious contexts, 11% of Black adults said people acted better than them and 7% said people acted suspicious of them, while 6% reported being called racist names or insulted, and 5% reported being left out of activities because of their race. The general public rates were 5%, 2% 3% and 2% respectively.
In non-religious contexts, the percentages of Black adults were 35%, 31%, 20% and 16%, respectively. For the general public, the rates were 18%, 12%, 12% and 8%, respectively.
Overall, 12% of Black respondents said they have experienced discrimination or been treated unfairly because of their race or ethnicity in a religious context, compared to 6% of all respondents.
This happened at their own house of worship for 23% of respondents, compared to 30% who experienced in another religious context and 31% who encountered such discrimination in both contexts.
The overall margin of error is plus-or-minus 1.5%.