72 percent of Americans believe that religion’s influence is waning in public life

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The study found that almost three-quarters of the American public — 72% — believes that religion’s influence is waning in public life, the highest level in Pew Research polling over the past 10 years.

And many Americans say that trend is a bad thing, the study found.

“A growing share of the American public wants religion to play a role in U.S. politics,” the Pew study authors write.

What kind of role?

Let’s start with pastors, like Garlow, openly endorsing political candidates.

Nearly a third of Americans say they want houses of worship to back particular candidates, despite IRS rules against it. That’s an increase of 8 percentage points since 2010.

An even higher percentage – nearly half of all Americans – said churches and other religious institutions should openly express their views on social and political issues, an increase of 6% since 2010.

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