And among the worst-rated by everybody else.
When asked about their views of the country’s biggest religious groups, most Americans don’t have strong feelings either way—except when it comes to evangelical Christians.
In a Pew Research Center report released Wednesday, 27 percent of Americans expressed an unfavorable view of evangelicals, compared to 10 percent who have a negative view of mainline Protestants or 18 percent who have a negative view of Catholics.
About as many have a favorable approach to evangelicals—28 percent—but that’s mostly due to positive sentiment from American evangelicals themselves, about a quarter of the population.
The findings follow a trend from Pew. Six years ago, researchers reported that Americans were warming up to each major religious group in the US, from Mormons to Muslims, except for evangelicals.
Other surveys over the past year have pointed to Americans’ negative perceptions of certain evangelical denominations and traditions.
When asked about 35 specific “religious groups, organizations, and belief systems” in a 2022 YouGov poll, Americans gave the best ratings to Christianity and Protestantism, the biggest religious affiliations in the US.
YouGov respondents weren’t asked about evangelicalism as a category, but traditions with mainline denominations—Presbyterianism, Methodism, Lutheranism, Anglicanism, and the Episcopal Church—were ranked favorable, while those that fall more squarely in evangelicalism—Pentecostalism and the Southern Baptist Convention—skewed negative. (The worst ratings, though, went to Jehovah’s Witnesses, Scientology, and Satanism.)
Additionally, just over half of Americans are turned off by Pentecostal churches, more than …