Both pastors and Americans believe religious liberty is on the decline in the U.S., according to a new LifeWay Research study.
A survey from Nashville-based LifeWay Research found seven out of 10 senior pastors at Protestant churches say religious liberty is on the decline in America. About seven in 10 also say Christians have lost or are losing the culture war. The telephone survey of Protestant senior pastors was taken Sept. 4-19, 2013.
Seventy percent agree with the statement, “Religious liberty is on the decline in America.” Twenty-seven percent disagree. Self-identified evangelical pastors (81 percent) are more likely to agree than mainline pastors (47 percent).
LifeWay researchers found similar concerns about religious liberty in a telephone survey of 1,001 Americans, conducted Sept. 6-10, 2013.
More than half (54 percent) agree with the statement, “Religious liberty is on the decline in America.” About four in 10 (38 percent) disagree.
Half (50 percent) also agree with the statement: “Christians increasingly are confronted by intolerance in America today.” Thirty nine percent disagree.
Protestant pastors were also not optimistic about Christians winning the “culture war.”
Researchers also asked pastors to respond to this question: “Many Christian leaders have talked about society being in a culture war. Regardless of how you feel about that terminology, how would you explain the current situation?”
Nearly six in 10 (59 percent) say Christians are losing. One in 10 (11 percent) say the culture war is already lost. Few (10 percent) say Christians are winning the culture war.
Evangelical pastors (79 percent) are more likely than mainline pastors (60 percent) to say Christians are losing or have lost the culture war.
Share your opinion. Do you believe religious liberties are in decline in America? Is there a such thing as the “culture war”? If you believe there is, how would you describe the current situation?