Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Post survey finds that battles over Trump support leading some evangelicals to leave church

Post survey response for Trump support
A survey has found a political divide among evangelicals over support for President Trump, leading a growing number of people to leave the church, reserachers Paul A. Djupe, Jacob R. Neiheisel and Anand Edward Sokhey write for The Washington Post. Even when mainline churches spoke out against Trump's temporary ban of Muslims, the survey found that white evangelicals—81 percent supported Trump during the election—increased their support of the ban.

But some evangelicals didn't comfortable with that. The survey, which included 957 participants in September and mid-November, found that 14 percent of people who regularly attended church reported they had left that church, including 10 percent of evangelicals. The survey found that 18 percent of mainline Protestants and 11 percent of Catholics also had left their churches.

To find out if people left because of politics, the Post "asked respondents if their clergy addressed any of eight political topics" and if they have seen evidence that "politics reminded them of how divisive politics has become," reports the Post. "About 15 percent of those who believe that American politics has become divisive left their political houses of worship. Of those who don’t think politics is inherently divisive, close to none left their political house of worship."

The survey asked evangelicals to tell of their own level of support for Trump, based on the Post's Trump’s average feeling thermometer, finding it to be 48 on a scale of 1 to 100, compared to 25 for Hillary Clinton, reports the Post. They also asked people to estimate their clergyperson’s support of Trump, finding that to be a 50. The Post found that the two groups most likely to leave the church were "Trump supporters who felt their clergy didn’t support him and those who felt cool toward Trump but thought their clergy strongly supported him."

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