The military and scientists top the list in a Pew Research Center survey about U.S. public trust, while religious leader trust lags behind.

“One-third of the public (33 percent) has a great deal of confidence in the military and an additional 46 percent say they have a fair amount of confidence,” Pew found.

By comparison, 24 percent of respondents express high confidence in medical scientists and 21 percent did so of all scientists.

Thirteen percent of U.S. adults said they have a great deal of trust in both religious leaders and K-12 administrators.

Overall, however, there was greater confidence in education than religious leaders – 76 percent expressing a great or fair amount of trust in K-12 leaders compared to 52 percent doing so for religious leaders.

“Confidence in religious leaders is closely tied to people’s own religious identity. A 64 percent majority of those affiliated with a religious group … say they have at least a fair amount of confidence in religious leaders to act in the best interest of the interest,” the report noted.

“In comparison, three-quarters of the religiously unaffiliated (75 percent) have not too much or no confidence in religious leaders to act in the best interests of the public,” Pew added. “Fully half of atheists (50 percent) say they have no confidence in religious leaders to act in the public interest.”

Few respondents expressed high trust for news media (5 percent), business leaders (4 percent) and elected officials (3 percent).

The full report is available here.

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