Nearly three-quarters of the public (72 percent) now thinks religion is losing influence in American life, up 5 percentage points from 2010 to the highest level in Pew Research polling over the past decade. And most people who say religion’s influence is waning see this as a bad thing.
Perhaps as a consequence, a growing share of the American public wants religion to play a role in U.S. politics. The share of Americans who say churches and other houses of worship should express their views on social and political issues is up 6 points since the 2010 midterm elections (from 43 percent to 49 percent).
The share who say there has been “too little” expression of religious faith and prayer from political leaders is up modestly over the same period (from 37 percent to 41 percent). And a growing minority of Americans (32 percent) thinks churches should endorse candidates for political office, though most continue to oppose such direct involvement by churches in electoral politics.