When churchgoers head to the ballot box for the midterm elections, most expect the rest of the congregation to do the same.
According to a Lifeway Research survey, half of Protestant church members in the United States say they prefer to attend churches where people share their political views, and 55% say their congregations already I believe so.
Scott McConnell, Executive Director of Lifeway Research, said: “But when churchgoers were asked whether they wanted political affinities to come back into church relationships, this was only desirable for half the churchgoers.”
While 50% of church members prefer a politically homogenous congregation, 41% do not and 10% are unsure. Overall, the percentage of people looking to attend church where people share voting preferences is similar to a 2017 Lifeway Research survey, with 46% saying the same. But more church members are sticking to worshiping with their political peers: about one in five (19%) of hers, up from 12% in 2017, said people believe political views strongly agree that they prefer to attend a church that shares
“Almost one in five churchgoers affirms that they want to attend church with people who share the same political views, but an equal number strongly disagree with that view.” said McConnell. “Twenty-three percent of those who strongly disagreed said their source of unity with others in their churches had nothing to do with partisanship.”
Younger parishioners are more likely than older parishioners to share pews with the same politicians. Nearly 5 out of 5 people under 50 (57%) want to get together with people who share their political views, compared to 47% of people aged 50 to her 65. and her 41% of people over the age of 65.
Ethnicity and education also play a role. White (54%) and African American (53%) churchgoers are more likely than Hispanic churchgoers (25%) to want a church that shares politics. For those below high school graduation (44%), he is one of the least likely groups.
By denomination, Methodist (88%) and Restoration (80%) members are more common in their congregations than Baptists (47%), Presbyterian/Reformed (47%), and Lutherans (38%). There is a tendency to say that they want to have a political point of view. Non-denominational churchgoers (38%).
Church members with evangelical beliefs (44%) were more likely to say they preferred churches where people shared their political views, while those who strongly disagreed with the four major evangelical theological statements (54%). ).
Despite their preferences, churchgoers may stick around even if other members of the congregation don’t share their views. Only 9% of believers would consider changing their church over political views.
Regardless of their preferences, most church members believe they are part of a political tribe when in church. More than half (55%) of Protestant church members in the United States say their political views match those of most people in the church. Disagree (23%) or don’t know (22%) he is less than a quarter of her.
Just as more members today strongly prefer congregations with similar political beliefs, more and more members strongly believe that they belong to such congregations. In 2017, 51% felt their church was politically homogenous, and 11% strongly agreed. Today, 21% strongly agree.
Moreover, few church members are seemingly unsure of the political opinions of their fellow congregation members. In 2017, 30% said they were unsure whether their political views were aligned with those of the majority of others in the church. By 2022 he has dropped to 22%.
“Looking at today’s culture, you might think most churches discuss politics as well. Only 28% of pastors (14% strongly) agree that their church experienced significant conflict last year,” McConnell said. “Those who want political continuation may only want a temporary respite from political squabbles in the church, and others may want to move together in political action.”
For many groups, their perception of the church is consistent with their preferences. Older church members aged 65 and over are least likely to think most people in their church share their politics (46%) and most likely to say they are unsure (32%). ). African American (60%) and white (58%) church members are also most likely to agree. believe that most of their fellow church members share their political views.
Church members who do not qualify as evangelicals by faith are more likely to say they prefer to worship in churches that share their politics (54%), and more likely to believe so (54%). 53%). But church members with evangelical beliefs are different. They are more likely to believe they belong to a congregation with which the majority politically agrees (44%) rather than say they prefer it (59%).
Based on an online survey of 1,002 Americans conducted September 19-29, 2022. For more information,full reportand visitLifewayResearch.com.