Pew: Faith-based initiative still popular

Eight years after President George W. Bush unveiled his faith-based initiative, the involvement of religious organizations in government-sponsored social services continues to draw broad public support, according to the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life and the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press.

At the same time, many Americans continue to express concerns about the blurring of the lines between church and state.

Sixty-nine percent of Americans say they favor allowing churches and other houses of worship to apply for government funding to provide social services such as job training or drug treatment, according to the survey of 4,013 adults conducted from Aug. 11 to 27. Twenty-five percent say they oppose the approach.

With President Barack Obama now in charge, Democrats now are more supportive of the faith-based initiative than Republicans, according to the report. Support among Democrats has increased to 77 percent from 70 percent in March 2001. Support among Republicans has fallen from 81 percent to 66 percent in the same timeframe.

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