Survey: Atheists trump Muslims on American 'feeling thermometer'

Americans may be warming to all religious groups according to a new Pew Research Center survey, but Muslims remain ranked poorest in terms of overall U.S. favorability.

In a Feb. 2017 survey, Americans were asked to rate a variety of religious groups on a 1-100 "feeling thermometer" (with 0 as the coldest and 100 as the warmest).

In rating all major religious groups, American adults gave nearly every sect a warmer rating than they did in a June 2014 version of the same survey. Americans continue to feel warmest toward Jews and Catholics -- with 67 and 66 degree ratings respectively. As was similar in 2014, atheists and Muslims found themselves with the poorest ratings. Average American feelings toward each group did warm since 2014, though, with a rise from 41 to 50 for atheists and 40 to 48 for Muslims.

RELATED: Backlash faced by Muslims in US

Backlash faced by Muslims in US
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Backlash faced by Muslims in US
Egyptian-American community activist Rana Abdelhamid (L) demonstrates a move during a self-defense workshop designed for Muslim women in Washington, DC, March 4, 2016 in this handout photo provided by Rawan Elbaba. Picture taken March 4, 2016. REUTERS/Rawan Elbaba/Handout via Reuters ATTENTION EDITORS - FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. THIS PICTURE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. REUTERS IS UNABLE TO INDEPENDENTLY VERIFY THE AUTHENTICITY, CONTENT, LOCATION OR DATE OF THIS IMAGE. THIS PICTURE IS DISTRIBUTED EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS
Young Muslims protest U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump before being escorted out during a campaign rally in the Kansas Republican Caucus at the Century II Convention and Entertainment Center in Wichita, Kansas March 5, 2016. REUTERS/Dave Kaup TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
A Muslim man prays while people shout slogans against U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump outside of his office in Manhattan, New York, December 20, 2015. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Janice Tufte of Seattle, a Muslim, participates in a pro-refugee protest organized by Americans for Refugees and Immigrants in Seattle, Washington November 28, 2015. REUTERS/Jason Redmond
NEW YORK, UNITED STATES - MARCH 09: A poster, reads 'Muslims! They invented coffee, the toothbrush, and algebra... Oh wait, sorry about the algebra. That's a year of class you'll never get back', is being displayed at a subway station under 77th Street, New York, NY, USA on March 09, 2016. Varied posters giving right information about Muslims and inform people against Islamophobia, prepared by Muslim comedians Negin Farsad and Dean Obeidallah, are being displayed at 144 subway stations of subway system in New York City within a project with 20,000 US Dollars cost. (Photo by Selcuk Acar/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
BROOKLYN, NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES - 2016/01/18: Bay Ridge residents march along Ft Hamilton Parkway in support of the Muslim community. Hundreds of Brooklyn residents gathered in Bay Ridge at the site of an alleged bias attack for a march entitled 'Muslims Our Neighbors' in support of Bay Ridge's Islamic community. (Photo by Andy Katz/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
MIDTOWN MANHATTAN, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES - 2015/12/20: Several hundred demonstrators rallied outside of Trump Tower at East 56th Street and Fifth Avenue in Manhattan to condemn Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump's position on immigration rights; after rallying for nearly two hours, demonstrators marched to Herald Square. (Photo by Albin Lohr-Jones/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
A group of Muslims pray before a rally in front of Trump Tower December 20, 2015 in New York. Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump proposed a call for a ban on Muslims entering the United States. AFP PHOTO/KENA BETANCUR / AFP / KENA BETANCUR (Photo credit should read KENA BETANCUR/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 10, 2015: Fire and hazmat crews arrive on the scene to investigate a suspicious letter delivered to the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) on December 10, 2015 in Washington, D.C. CAIR is the largest non-profit Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States, with offices two blocks from the U.S. Capitol building. (Photo by Allison Shelley/Getty Images)
MANHATTAN, NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES - 2015/12/09: Hand-lettered Love Your Muslim Neighbor sign held aloft. City council speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito led an interfaith rally of political leaders and clergy on the steps of city hall to denounce Republican candidate Donald Trump's call to ban Muslim entry into the US. (Photo by Andy Katz/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
SAN BERNARDINO, Dec. 6, 2015-- Local Muslim residents attend a gathering to mourn victims who were killed in the recent deadly shooting incident in Islamic Community Center in Loma Linda, San Bernardino, California, United States, Dec. 6, 2015. (Xinhua/Yang Lei via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC DECEMBER 2: Ibrahim Hashi, a Muslim veteran of the United States military, is pictured in his American University dorm room, where a Marine Corp flag hangs on his living room wall, on Wednesday, December 2, 2015, in Washington, DC. Since leaving the Marines as a corporal in 2011, Hashi has heard more anti-Muslim rhetoric than ever. (Photo by Jahi Chikwendiu/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Muslims are the fastest growing religious group in the world -- and yet most Americans say they know very little about the Islamic faith. In the wake of President Trump's original executive order barring travelers from seven Muslim-majority nations -- an order which his administration is now rewriting after federal judges rejected its legality -- the new commander in chief has positioned himself as someone who intends to defeat radical Islamic terrorism, and will go to great lengths to stop it.

Another February Pew survey shows that 54 percent of Americans see "not much" or "no" widespread support for extremism among Muslims living in the U.S., which is 9 points higher than the 45 percent who felt the same way in 2011.

SEE ALSO: Meet the judges receiving threats after they rejected Trump's travel ban order

Young people, Democrats and those who personally know someone who is Muslim are more likely to say they do not see support for extremism among Muslims in America.

The report's findings showing a steadily high rating for the Jewish community comes as Jewish cemeteries and community centers have fallen victim to a nationwide wave of vandalism and threat.

In the past month, about 100 headstones at a Jewish cemetery were vandalized in Philadelphia, almost 200 headstones were damaged in Missouri and 10 Jewish community centers received bomb threats.

A Muslim fundraising project led by Linda Sarsour and Tarek El-Messidi called for a display of "solidarity with the Jewish-American community" after the headstones were destroyed in St. Louis. After the project received a bump from J.K. Rowling the activists reached their $20,000 goal in just three hours.

In his Congressional address on Tuesday, President Trump said all Americans are "made by the same God." As a Christian-majority American democracy built on the separation of church and state grows older, the views of its electorate toward different religious groups will likely continue to evolve -- in sync with the growth of faith-based sects themselves.

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