The following is excerpted from the Deseret News. To read the full article, CLICK HERE

New research on American support for religious freedom protections holds good news and bad news for those concerned about the plight of people of faith.

The good news is that most of the country is generally supportive of religious rights — especially when those rights ensure that members of minority groups feel safe living out their faith.

“Americans’ overwhelming concern for minority religious groups is a key takeaway of this year’s Index results,” said Montse Alvarado, COO and executive director of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, the organization behind the new Religious Freedom Index, in a press release.

The bad news is that skepticism about religious freedom has a clear source, and it’s one that will exert a growing influence over the country in years to come.

“The Gen Z numbers are really striking. … If we’re looking into the future, threats and opportunities are coming from the fact that the younger generation seems to have less sympathy for and understanding of the value of religion in society,” said Stephanie Slade, senior editor at Reason magazine, during a launch event for the data in Washington, D.C.

The new research showed that members of Gen Z were less likely than members of other generations — often by a wide margin — to “accept and support” policies that protect the right of people of faith, including religious business owners, to hold unpopular or controversial beliefs.

For example, just one-third of Gen Z said individuals who believe marriage should only be between one man and one woman should be protected from discrimination, fines or other penalties, compared to 44% of respondents overall.

To read the full article, CLICK HERE