White Protestants in the U.S. are the least likely religious group to affirm a connection between violent rhetoric and violent actions, according to a Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) report published Jan. 14.

Asked to respond to the prompt, “Harsh and violent language in politics contributes (a lot, a little or not at all) to violent actions in society,” only 39% of white evangelical Protestants and 44% of white mainline Protestants said, “a lot.”

These were the lowest affirmation levels of all the religious groups surveyed.

By comparison, 67% of Hispanic Catholics said, “a lot,” followed by other Christian affiliations (66%), non-Christians (65%), Black Protestants (64%), religiously unaffiliated (50%), white Catholics (46%) and Hispanic Protestants (46%).

Among all U.S. adults, white respondents (46%) were the least likely to say that violent political rhetoric “contributes a lot” to violent societal acts. By comparison, 67% of Asian, multiracial or other race respondents said, “a lot,” followed by Black (64%) and Hispanic (54%) respondents.

The data was collected as part of PRRI’s 2020 American Values Survey conducted in September 2020, with the initial report published in mid-October 2020. The margin of error was plus-or-minus 2.6%.

The full Jan. 14 report is available here.

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