Religion and the Law

The appropriate relationship between religion and government has been a source of almost continuous debate since the country was founded. This debate frequently moves into the judicial arena, with recent U.S. Supreme Court rulings on such issues as school prayer, state-funded vouchers for religious schools, state financing of theological education and the placement of Christmas crèches, Ten Commandments monuments and similar displays on public property.

The Pew Research Center’s Religion & Public Life Project seeks to make sense of confusing and sometimes conflicting rulings. It provides a variety of resources that examine the relationship between religion and the law, including reports, transcripts of its events, polling data and the latest news drawn from media sources nationwide. The goal is to deliver timely, impartial information to national, state and local opinion leaders, including lawyers and legal scholars, government officials and journalists.

The project tracks the abortion debate, providing legal backgrounders on key cases that have come before the Supreme Court.  Its publications also have explored topics including right-to-die legislation and issues of conscience in providing health care.

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 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 the law, visit the Pew Research Center’s Religion & Public Life Project.



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