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Where Do Evangelicals Stand?

A survey reveals that American Evangelicals agree on Christian social values but remain diverse on national issues by race
( [email protected] ) Apr 15, 2004 03:04 AM EDT

According to a survey conducted by Religion & Ethics Newsweekly and U.S. News & World Report in March, 2004, Evangelical Christians in America were found to be much more diverse than how most Americans perceive them to be. According to the survey, Evangelicals are united in the way they perceive Christian and social values, whereas on public issues, they divide based on their racial background.

As what most Christians believe, an overwhelming number of Evangelicals still agree that personal faith in Christ is the only way to salvation, as compared with only 56 percent of non-evangelical Protestants and 38 percent of Catholics.

Other factors that bind Evangelical Christians together include:

1. Belief in the mass media that it is hostile to their moral and spiritual values (72%)

2. Believing that they have to fight in order to be heard in their society (75%)

3. Considering that military strength, controlling weapons of mass destruction, and fighting terrorism are much more important than international relief efforts or foreign aid, despite their active involvement in global issues such as human rights and religious freedom.

More specifically in perceiving national issues, it was found that Evangelicals differ significantly showing division among different racial groups.

For instance, a higher number of white Evangelicals looked at moral values as their biggest concern than other racial groups of Evangelicals – lack 16% and Hispanics 13%. A higher number of blacks (41%) or Hispanic (34%) Evangelicals considered the U.S. economy and jobs as more important than white Evangelicals (25%). In deciding whether or not the nation is currently going in the right direction, a majority of black Evangelicals see the country is definitely going wrong whereas white Evangelicals are evenly divided about it.

Researchers say that still the majority of white Evangelicals share similar beliefs on many of domestic issues such as Social Security, health care and on the direction of moral values. Most Evangelicals agree that the country’s moral values have seriously gone astray.

Also it is clearly shown that they agree in their opposition to homosexual marriage and civil unions, although less than 50% of people support constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage. However, over 80% of evangelical Christians support traditional marriage over allowing civil unions or any kind of same-sex marriage.