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White evangelicals believe Christians face more discrimination than Muslims

(Reuters/Laura Buckman)People gather to pray in baggage claim during a protest against the travel ban imposed by U.S. President Donald Trump's executive order, at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport in Dallas, Texas, U.S. January 29, 2017.

A recent survey conducted by the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) has revealed that a majority of white evangelicals believe that Christians face more discrimination.

In February, the PRRI surveyed Americans regarding their impressions of discrimination in the U.S., focusing on Muslims and Christians. The PRRI did not include Jews as a category in the study.

White evangelicals were the only religious group that is more likely to believe that there is more discrimination against Christians than Muslims.

The results indicated that 57 percent of white evangelicals believe that there is a lot of discrimination against Christians in the U.S. However, only 44 percent believe the same thing about Muslims.

In contrast, 77 percent of religiously unaffiliated Americans said they believe Muslims experience a lot of discrimination. Seventy-five percent of nonwhite Protestants, 64 percent of Catholics and 63 percent of white mainline Protestants believe the same.

Democrats are four times as likely to believe that Muslims face a lot of discrimination as they were to say the same of Christians. Republicans, on the other hand, are about equally as likely to say that both Christians and Muslims experience a lot of discrimination in the U.S.

Overall, 66 percent of Americans believe that Muslims face a lot of discrimination, compared with 33 percent who say the same about Christians.

Based on previous studies, white evangelicals believe there is even less discrimination against Muslims today than they did a few years ago, according to a report from The Atlantic.

A PRRI survey in December 2013 revealed that 59 percent of white evangelicals believe that Muslims face a lot of discrimination. As many as 56 percent said the same last October. However, the report from the Atlantic noted that the sample size of white evangelicals in the February poll was smaller than in previous surveys.

According to the Atlantic, Muslims have been targeted in 22 percent of religiously motivated crimes compared to the 13.6 percent against Catholics, Protestants, Mormons, and other Christian denominations combined. Muslims comprise less than one percent of the American population, while Christians make up 70 percent.

The survey results were released after President Donald Trump's administration issued the revised travel ban on citizens from six Muslim-majority countries. The original executive order included exemptions for religious minorities, particularly Christians, from select Muslim-majority countries, but it was removed in the new order.

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