As the conflict over the Islamic center near New York City’s Ground Zero continues to escalate, a new survey has found that ever more Americans believe President Obama is not a Christian.
In fact, according to a poll conducted by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press and the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, some 18 percent of United States respondents say Obama is a Muslim. This represents an increase of 7 percent from last March.
Currently only about 34 percent believe the president is a Christian, although nearly a half (48 percent) thought so a year ago.
In terms of the political affiliations of those who say Obama is a Muslim, the greatest increase has been found among Republicans (14 percent), but among conservative GOP supporters the percentage went up by 16 points. However, the poll also noted that the number of independents who share a similar belief grew by 8 points.
The Pew poll was conducted before Obama’s comments earlier this month in which he expressed his belief that Muslims had a right to build a place of worship anywhere they wished on a private land, and that this right was protected by the First Amendment.