Whose beliefs matter? From birth control to taxes, religion is playing an unprecedented role in campaign 2012.
For American Muslims – already in the eye of a political storm over the proposed mosque near ground zero in New York – a Florida pastor's Koran burning threat is seen as a teachable moment crucial to how the US public views Muslims and Islam.
In America's Christian faith, a surprising comeback of rock-ribbed Calvinism is challenging the Jesus-is-your-buddy gospel of modern evangelism.
They are increasingly tolerant of other religions and persuasions.
They search for the right words to express from the pulpit – a balance between compassion and urging worshipers to find deeper meanings.