Poll: 52 percent in U.S. negative on Islam

Sept. 20, 2010 at 12:03 PM
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NEW YORK, Sept. 20 (UPI) -- More than half of Americans hold an unfavorable view of Islam and say they consider it to be a religion that encourages violence, a poll indicates.

Americans hold strongly positive views on Christianity but are less approving in their assessment of other religions, the Angus Reid Public Opinion poll has found.

In a survey of 1,024 adults, the poll found 83 percent generally have a favorable view of Christianity while 47 percent feel the same way about Judaism and 43 percent about Buddhism.

But 52 percent of respondents said they hold an unfavorable view of Islam, the poll found.

Asked about religion encouraging violence, 45 percent said they believe Islam encourages violence and 25 percent described it as a peaceful religion.

While 91 per cent of Americans say they have a good basic understanding of the teachings and beliefs of Christianity, less than half are knowledgeable about five other religions: Judaism 43 percent, Islam 34 percent, Buddhism 31 percent, Hinduism 22 percent and Sikhism 8 percent, the poll indicates.

The poll was conducted online on Sept 14 and 15 with a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.

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