(JNS.org) A new report published by the Pew Research Center claims that Orthodox Jews more closely resemble evangelical Christians in their religious and political beliefs than other American Jews.
“Indeed, in a few ways, Orthodox Jews more closely resemble white evangelical Protestants than they resemble other U.S. Jews,” the report stated.
According to Pew, Orthodox Jews tend to identify as Republicans and take more conservative positions on social issues such as homosexuality than most other American Jews, who tend to be more politically liberal.
“For example, similarly large majorities of Orthodox Jews (83%) and white evangelicals (86%) say that religion is very important in their lives, while only about one-fifth of other Jewish Americans (20%) say the same,” Pew said.
The center added, “Roughly three-quarters of both Orthodox Jews (74%) and white evangelicals (75%) report that they attend religious services at least once a month. And eight-in-ten or more Orthodox Jews (84%) and white evangelicals (82%) say that Israel was given to the Jewish people by God – more than twice the share of other American Jews (35%) who express this belief.”
While Orthodox Jews only comprise about 10 percent of the estimated 5.3 million Jewish adults in the U.S., their numbers are rapidly growing, according to Pew. Orthodox Jewish adults are on average a full decade younger than the median age of other Jewish adults (52), and bear at least twice as many children as other Jews (4.1 versus 1.7). Additionally, 98 percent of Orthodox Jewish parents say they are raising their children Jewish, compared with 78 percent among other Jewish parents.
If this trend continues, Orthodox Jews “gradually could shift the profile of American Jews in several areas, including religious beliefs and practices, social and political views and demographic characteristics,” Pew concluded.