WASHINGTON, July 16 (UPI) -- Asked to rate their feelings about religious groups on a scale of warm to cold, U.S. residents give Jewish people the warmest ranking and Muslim people the coldest, a new poll finds.
Only atheists have a lower ranking than Muslims, the Pew Research Center said in a report released Wednesday. On a scale of 0 to 100, Jews averaged 63, Catholics 62 and evangelical Christians 61, while Muslims averaged 41 and atheists 40.
Buddhists, at 53, Hindus, 50, and Mormons, 48, were in the neutral range.
Respondents tended to have warmer feelings about the group they belong to. While most are too small for that to be significant, only 58 percent of non-Catholics view the church favorably and there is an even bigger dip for evangelicals to 52 percent.
Pew found differences based on age, race and political affiliation. Young people, for example, were more likely to view Muslims warmly, giving them an average of 49 with those under 30; black people were more likely to have a positive view of Muslims and evangelicals; and Democrats tend to have a more positive view of non-Christians than Republicans.
The poll found that evangelicals have a positive view of Jews averaging 69 percent. But that warmth is not returned with Jews rating evangelicals at a chilly 34.
The poll was conducted between May 30 and June 30 among 3,217 respondents from Pew's American Trends Panel. The views of 3,217 respondents were obtained on line and 368 by mail.
The margin of error is 2.2 percentage points.