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Study: White Evangelicals Least Likely to Say the U.S. Has a ‘Responsibility’ to Accept Refugees

Another day, another study showing white evangelicals in the U.S. really don’t like immigrants. This isn’t exactly news, since white evangelicals have rapidly tilted away from any sense of concern for immigrants ever since 2016, but a Pew Research study on the issue is awfully stark.

The study was released in May of 2018, but made fresh rounds on Monday after Pew dusted it off and tweeted some of the more jarring stats.

First, the broad strokes. According to Pew, a little over half (51 percent) of all Americans believe the U.S. has a responsibility to accept refugees, while 43 percent say it doesn’t. Unsurprisingly, this breaks down pretty differently along partisan lines: 26 percent of Republicans and Republican-leaning people say the U.S. has a responsibility (down from 25 percent in February of 2017, right after President Donald Trump took office), while 74 percent of Democrats and Democratic-leaning people agree — and that number hasn’t changed much since the election.

But where things get really interesting is the religion breakdown. Overall, the group most likely to believe the U.S. has a responsibility to accept refugees are those who are “unaffiliated” — 65 percent of whom agree. Just behind them are black Protestants, 63 percent of whom agree.

About half of all Catholics and 43 percent of white Mainline Protestants agree the U.S. has a responsibility to accept refugees, making white evangelicals an extremely distant last place with only 25 percent agreeing. 65 percent of white evangelicals say the U.S. does not have a responsibility to accept refugees.

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Those white evangelicals are getting their wish. Since 2016 there’s been an 82 percent overall decline in the number of refugees accepted in the U.S., which includes a 70 percent drop in Christians feeling persecution overseas.

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