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Survey examines Catholics’ views on nuclear weapons, climate change

December 15, 2011

A study conducted by the Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland (CISSM) and its Program on International Policy Attitudes has examined the public policy views of Catholics, evangelicals, and other believers.

“A majority of believers, including majorities of Catholics and Evangelicals, see addressing global poverty as a spiritual obligation and see addressing the risks posed by nuclear weapons and global warming as moral imperatives, even if they do not initially associate these imperatives with spiritual obligations,” the Center found. “The study finds little variation between evangelicals and Catholics on these points.”

Among the survey’s findings:

  • 70% of evangelicals and 51% of Catholics believe that “seeking to prevent abortions” is a “spiritual obligation,” while 23% of Catholics see the elimination of nuclear weapons as a spiritual obligation
  • 80% of evangelicals and 90% of Catholics would support a treaty “reducing pollution in the environment,” while 72% of evangelicals and 83% of Catholic would back an agreement that would reduce the “greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change”
  • 88% of evangelicals and 95% of Catholics would support an agreement reducing the number of nuclear weapons, while 54% of Catholics would support an agreement that gradually eliminates nuclear weapons
  • 79% of Catholics and 65% of evangelicals believe that preventing climate change is a “spiritual obligation” or “important goal”


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