Religion and Public Schools

All three branches of the federal government, as well as many state and local governments, have attempted to clarify the increasingly contentious issue of the appropriate relationship between religion and public schools.

Some of the most divisive issues have been school prayer; the teaching of evolution and creationism; vouchers; the use of school space by religious groups; the recitation of the phrase “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance; and teaching about religion. The Pew Research Center’s Religion & Public Life Project delivers timely, impartial information on these and related topics to opinion leaders, including government officials and journalists, through reports, transcripts of its events, polling data and the latest news gathered from media nationwide.

Project reports have explored how the classroom has become one of the most important battlegrounds in the broader conflict over religion’s role in public life and the history of the controversy over teaching evolution in public schools. 

The Pew Research Center’s Religion & Public Life Project does not take positions in policy debates. It is a project of the Pew Research Center, a Pew subsidiary and a nonpartisan ‘fact tank’ in Washington, D.C., that provides information on the issues, attitudes and trends shaping America and the world.

For more information about religion and education, visit the Pew Research Center’s Religion & Public Life Project.

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