Two-in-three (66%) Latinos living in the United States say that their religious beliefs are a very important or a somewhat important influence on their political thinking, and among Hispanic evangelicals, more than eight-in-ten (86%) feel this way. Indeed, a clear majority of evangelicals (62%) say their religious beliefs are a “very important” influence, a far greater share than among Latino Catholics (36%) and mainline Protestants (38%). A significant minority (30%) of Hispanics, however, say their religious beliefs are either not too important or not at all important to their political thinking. Almost one-in-three (32%) mainline Protestants hold that view, as do 30% of Catholics. A majority of Latinos (56%) also say that religious institutions should express their opinions on the political and social issues of the day, one of the findings from a recent joint study by the Pew Hispanic Center and the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life that suggest the importance Latinos generally place on the role of religion in public life. A plurality of Hispanics (45%) say political leaders do not express their religious faith often enough. In both cases, these sentiments are somewhat stronger among evangelicals than among Catholics or mainline Protestants, and they are more prevalent among those who attend church at least weekly than among those who attend less frequently. Read More

Russell Heimlich  is a former web developer at Pew Research Center.