Only 14 percent of U.S. Catholics have favorable views of Muslims, survey finds

Only 14 percent of Catholics in the United States have favorable views of Muslims, and 45 percent are on the neutral side, a survey by a Georgetown University survey has found.

In a report titled "Danger & Dialogue: American Catholic Public Opinion and Portrayals of Islam," a survey conducted by the Bridge Initiative among 1,027 Catholics in the United States found that 30 percent have unfavorable impressions of Muslims. The survey also found that only 14 percent have favorable views of Muslims, and 45 percent expressed "neither favorable nor unfavorable" opinions.

(Reuters/Dave Kaup)Young Muslims protest Donald Trump before being escorted out during a campaign rally in the Kansas Republican Caucus at the Century II Convention and Entertainment Center in Wichita, Kansas, March 5, 2016.
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The Bridge Initiative also found out that American Catholics who personally know a Muslim often have different opinions on Islam from those who have not interacted with a Muslim.

Aside from that, the survey reflected that almost half of American Catholics cannot point out any similarities between their faith and Islam. The issue has become controversial because arguments have surfaced saying Christians and Muslims worship the same God.

In a teleconference held last month, top American Cardinal Raymond Burke said Christians and Muslims do not worship the same God. He pointed out that the Islamic god is a governor who must dominate every man using the Sharia law, the National Catholic Register relays.

Cardinal Burke admitted that there are Muslims who are gentle and kind, but he cautioned that their faith demands that Muslims govern the world. Drawing a contrast between Islam and Christianity, he said the latter teaches its followers to merely inspire others to act justly toward other people.

Meanwhile, Pope Francis previously insisted that all people are "children of the same God" even if they practice Islam, Hinduism, Catholicism, Coptic Christianity, Evangelical Christianity, and other religions. During a ceremony in March wherein the pontiff washed and kissed Muslim refugees' feet ahead of Easter, he said people of all religions all want to live peacefully together.

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