The question of what role religion should play in public life is becoming more and more of a dividing line for Americans.

A new poll out Monday shows a huge leap in the percentage of Americans who say religion is losing its influence on public life – from 52 percent in 2002 to 72 percent today – but an even split on whether that should change.

Forty-nine percent of Americans say churches and other houses of worship “should express their views on day-to-day social and political questions," while 48 percent say churches and other houses of worship should keep out of political matters.

During the last midterm election season, in 2010, those who wanted churches to keep out of politics outnumbered those who wanted churches to express their political views by a 52 percent to 43 percent margin, according to the survey released Monday by the Pew Research Center.

Sixty-three percent of Americans do not want clergy to explicitly endorse candidates and less than half say there has been “too little expression of prayer” from political leaders.

The rise in a desire for clergy to weigh in comes almost completely from Republicans and people who lean Republican. Fifty-nine percent say they want this, up 11 percent from 2010. The percent of Democrats who want this – 42 percent – is virtually unchanged.