Almost 1 in 10 US Christians have heard their clergy speak negatively about Jews
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Almost 1 in 10 US Christians have heard their clergy speak negatively about Jews

Pew survey also finds 81% of Jews say religion declining in American life, and most Jews think religion has too much influence over American politics

Illustrative: People worship at Grace Baptist Church in Mt. Vernon, New York, April 17, 2016. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
Illustrative: People worship at Grace Baptist Church in Mt. Vernon, New York, April 17, 2016. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

JTA — Thirty-nine percent of American Christians who attend church have heard their clergy speak out about Jews, and 9 percent have heard them say something negative.

That’s according to a study published Friday by the Pew Research Center on religion and public life.

The survey found that American Jews were ambivalent toward the role of religion in public life.

Some other numbers among churchgoers:

  • 20% have heard their clergy speak positively about Jews.
  • 8% have heard both positive and negative things from clergy.
  • 1% have heard mostly negative things.
  • 9% percent have heard neither positive nor negative things from their clergy about Jews.
Illustrative: A worshiper walks past a Pittsburgh Police officer, and a private security guard outside the main entrance of the Beth Shalom synagogue after attending a Shabbat morning service on Nov. 3, 2018 in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Here are some Jewish numbers:

  • 47% of Jews say religious organizations do more good than harm, 31% say they do more harm than good, and 21% say they “don’t make much difference.”
  • Most Jews — 81% — believe religion’s influence is declining in American life. Thirty-five percent of American Jews say that’s a bad thing and 25% say it’s a good thing.
  • 58% say religion has too much influence over American politics. Sixty-nine percent say houses of worship should stay out of politics.

The survey included responses from 6,384 adults, including 3,886 Christians and 290 Jews. The overall margin of error was 1.7% overall, 2.1% for Christians and 8.9% for Jews.

Christians are more supportive of religious influence in public life: 67% say religious organizations do more good than harm, 58% say declining religious influence is a bad thing and 21% say religion has too much influence on politics.

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