The fourth edition of the Becket Fund’s annual Religious Freedom Index found—among other things—an increase in respect for religious diversity. This is welcome news to champions of religious freedom everywhere.
The Religious Freedom Index regularly polls Americans to measure their “perspectives on core principles of religious freedom” and to provide “timely insights into pressing social and cultural questions.”
This year, public support for religious pluralism increased by four points, capping off a ten-point increase since 2020. Over 90% of survey respondents completely or mostly support:
The American public also widely supports protecting religious minorities. For example, the poll found nearly 90% of Americans support protecting Native American sacred sites located on federal land. Americans also support the rights of business owners to conduct their businesses in accordance with their religious beliefs, with little variation when the business owner is a member of a majority or minority religion.
Still, there is room for progress. The report found that while 85% of respondents correctly identified the freedom of speech as a First Amendment right, less than half could do the same for religious freedom. For this reason, the report states “advocates for religious freedom have an opportunity to educate the broader public on key constitutional rights.”
PT1 commends the Becket Fund for producing yet another rigorous and high-quality report. The data paint a promising picture of the health of religious freedom in the United States. First Amendment advocates should avail themselves of this valuable resource.