The life of evangelical churches and their spiritual leaders has been portrayed in some recent films and series. Can they help us start conversations?
According to a LifeWay Research survey, 46% of churchgoers prefer to attend a church where people share their political views.
The Nashville-based LifeWay Research has launched a new report on churchgoing and politics.
LifeWay surveyed 1,010 Americans (18 and older), who attend services at least once a month at a Protestant or non-denominational church.
Scott McConnell, Executive Director of the research firm, summarized the results saying that “like many places in America, churches are divided by politics, and churchgoers under 50 seem to want it that way”.
SAME POLITICAL VIEWS?
LifeWay asked Protestant churchgoers if they believed their political views match those of people in their church. Half agree (51%), while 19% disagree and 30% are uncertain.
Most of the churchgoers who agree with that, are men (58%) between 35 and 49 years old (61%), who attend church services at least once a week (52%).
Baptist (58%), non-denominational (54%) and Assemblies of God and Pentecostal (53%) believers are more likely to agree than Lutherans (31%).
46% PREFER TO ATTEND A CHURCH WHERE PEOPLE SHARE POLITICAL VIEWS
“Politics doesn’t seem to be a high priority for most Protestants when choosing a church to attend […] it isn’t the only thing that churchgoers care about. In some churches, politics isn’t mentioned at all, at least in the pews”, McConnell pointed out.
However, “for a small group of churchgoers, it’s really crucial”, he added.
According to the research. 46% agree with the statement, “I prefer to attend a church where people share my political views”, while 42% disagree, and 12% are not sure.
More than half (57%) of the respondents under 50 said they prefer to go to church with people who share their political views.
Methodist (57%), non-denominational (51%) and Baptist (49%) churchgoers are more likely to agree than Lutherans (33%).
A previous LifeWay Research study on Strength of ties to Church found that only 1 in 10 (9%) would consider leaving their church over political views.
“More than a few churchgoers in the most recent study (30%) don’t know the political views of people besides them in the pews”, McConnell concluded.