Public Resource
How Religion Intersects With Americans’ Views on the Environment
Becka Alper. Pew Research Center

Responsibility for the Earth is part of many U.S. Christians’ beliefs, but so is skepticism about climate change. The new survey finds that about three-quarters of religiously affiliated Americans say the Earth is sacred. An even greater share (80%) express a sense of stewardship – completely or mostly agreeing with the idea that “God gave humans a duty to protect and care for the Earth, including the plants and animals.” Two-thirds of U.S. adults who identify with a religious group say their faith’s holy scriptures contain lessons about the environment, and about four-in-ten (42%) say they have prayed for the environment in the past year. Half or fewer people surveyed in all major Protestant traditions say the Earth is getting warmer mostly because of human activity, including 32% of evangelicals. However, on average, people who are less religious tend to be more concerned about the consequences of global warming. For example, religiously unaffiliated adults – those who describe themselves as atheists, agnostics or “nothing in particular” – are much more likely to say climate change is an extremely or very serious problem (70%) than are religiously affiliated Americans as a whole (52%).