White evangelical protestants are the only religious demographic in the United States in which the majority views immigrants as a “threat” to American values and sees the country’s increasing racial diversity as a bad thing, a new survey has found.
A little over a week before the 2018 midterm elections, the Public Religion Research Institute on Monday released its 9th annual American Values Survey.
The research shows that white evangelical Protestants are at odds with all other identified religious groups on many questions relating to immigration, race, the #MeToo movement and President Donald Trump.
“To understand white evangelicals here in the U.S., we really need to look beyond the hot-button traditional religious views of abortion and same-sex marriage,” Janelle Wong, professor of American Studies at the University of Maryland, said during a Brookings Institution panel discussion on the new survey in Washington, D.C.
The survey featured responses from 2,509 adults (338 self-identified white evangelical Protestants) across 50 states and contained a margin of error of 2.8 percentage points.
While a majority of all other religious demographics have unfavorable views of President Donald Trump, 68 percent of white evangelicals hold a favorable view of the Republican president. Meanwhile, 80 percent of black Protestants, 75 percent of religiously unaffiliated, 74 percent of Hispanic Catholics, 73 percent of non-Christian religious Americans, 52 percent of white mainline Protestants and white Catholics hold a negative opinion of Trump.
While white evangelicals are known for having strong conservative stances on issues like same-sex marriage and abortion, the survey showed that white evangelicals are the religious group most opposed to immigrants and immigration.
As data shows that the U.S. will become a minority white nation by the year 2045, the survey asked respondents whether or not the nation’s ethnic and racial “realignment” is positive or a negative thing.
The majority of all major religious demographics surveyed said they see the realignment as positive thing except for white evangelicals. Fifty-four percent of white evangelicals surveyed said they see the U.S. becoming majority non-white as a mostly negative trend.
By comparison, 81 percent of Hispanic Catholics, 80 percent of black Protestants, 51 percent of white Catholics and white mainline Protestants see the trend as mostly positive.
When asked about the growing number of “newcomers” to the United States, white evangelicals (57 percent) were the only major religious group to have a majority say that immigrants “threaten traditional American customs and values.”
By comparison, 47 percent of white Catholics and 48 percent white mainline Protestants also said that the growing number of immigrants threaten the United States.
Sixty-three percent of Hispanic Protestants, 67 percent of black Protestants and 76 percent of Hispanic Catholics said the immigration growth is strengthening the country. Only 43 percent of white evangelicals said the same thing.
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Source: Christian Post