Mormons feel misunderstood by Americans and the mainstream: poll

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah —Mormons in the United States are getting more attention as Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman, both members of the Mormon church, are in the race for the Republican seat in the 2012 presidential election.

In the latest poll taken by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, 1,000 Mormons answered questions about their faith and on the overall said they felt uneasy in the spotlight and misunderstood by Americans in the mainstream, The New York Times reported.

Still, a majority of the people surveyed, self-proclaimed members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said they were confident about their religion and did believe that American people were ready to elect a Mormon as president, the Washington Post reported.

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“On the one hand, Mormons do feel they are discriminated against, and that their coverage in the news and, even more so, in popular culture isn’t helping,” said David Campbell, associate professor of political science at the University of Notre Dame, The Times reported. “But you also find this strain of optimism that things are going to get better and this is an important moment for Mormonism.” Campbell is also a Mormon and took part in the poll.

While the survey highlighted Mormon's strong faith in their religion, God, and giving back to the church, 62 percent believed the rest of the country knows little about their faith, the Washington Post reported. Despite this, about two thirds of Mormons think the country has become more accepting of their religious beliefs.

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One-third of the people surveyed felt that the US wasn’t ready to elect Romney, Huntsman, or another member of the church as president, the Guardian reported. Thirty-two percent of Mormons feel that Romney’s religion will work against him, if he were to be elected.

Only 2 percent of the nation’s population is made up of Mormons. According to Gallup data in 2009, 34 percent of adult Mormons live in Utah, which became the center of the Latter Day Saints’ church when Brigham Young led a group of Mormons westward in the 1840s after being prosecuted in New York, Missouri and Illinois. The headquarters of the church remains in Salt Lake City.


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