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Pew: 66% Say Christian Displays Should Be Permitted on Government Property

Michael Morris
By Michael Morris | December 15, 2017 | 4:08 PM EST

White House Nativity Scene (Screenshot)

In a 2017 Pew Research Center (Pew) survey, a majority of Americans (66%) said Christian displays like nativity scenes should be permitted on government property during the Christmas season.

Of the 66 percent who said they believe Christian displays like nativity scenes should be permitted, 37 percent said that Christian displays should be allowed on government property – even if unaccompanied by other symbols – and 29 percent said Christian displays should be allowed on government property, but only if accompanied by other symbols like Hanukkah candles.

According to Pew, less than one third (26%) of Americans said that Christian displays should not be allowed on government property. Eight percent said that they don’t know or refused to answer.

Pew asked respondents the following question in their survey:

“Thinking about holiday displays on government property, which comes closest to your view?

“No religious symbols, like Christian nativity scenes, should be allowed on government property, [OR] Religious symbols like Christian nativity scenes should be allowed on government property, but ONLY if accompanied by symbols from other faiths such as Hanukkah candles, [OR] Christian symbols like nativity scenes should be allowed on government property whether or not they are accompanied by symbols from other faiths[;] Don’t know/Refused.”

When Pew asked American respondents this question in 2014, a slightly larger majority said Christian displays should be allowed on government property (72%).

44 percent of 2014 respondents said they believed Christian symbols like nativity scenes should be allowed on government property even if unaccompanied by other symbols, while one percent less than 2017 respondents (28%) said such displays should be allowed only if accompanied by other symbols like Hanukkah candles.

Only 20 percent of Americans said Christian displays should not be allowed on government property in 2014, denoting a six percent increase of American respondents in 2017.

Eight percent of respondents said they don’t know/refused to answer in 2014.

To view Pew’s methodology click here.


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