Barna Report Finds 50 Percent of Christians in the U.S. Believe Slavery Still Impacts America Today

Fifty percent of practicing Christians in the United States believe that the history of slavery still has an impact on the country, according to a new report by the Barna Group.

In a report released on Tuesday, Barna found that 50 percent of practicing Christian respondents answered that they “mostly or totally” believe that “the effects of slavery continue to be felt today.” This was slightly higher than the general U.S. adult population at 46 percent.

Further, 28 percent of practicing Christians responded that they “mostly or totally” agree with the statement that “our society has moved past slavery,” while 16 percent responded that they are “not sure.”

Barna found a considerable gap among respondents by race, with 79 percent of black Christian respondents saying that the effects of slavery are still felt, versus 42 percent of white Christian respondents.

Further, while 34 percent of white Christian respondents felt that society had moved past slavery, only 9 percent of black Christian respondents agreed.

Data for the report came from online surveys of 1,007 U.S. adults and 1,502 practicing American Christians that were completed April 2018 through August 2018. The sample had a margin of error of 2.9 percent, while the practicing Christian sample had a margin of error of plus or minus 2.3 percent.

Another finding of the report was that millennials were more likely than older generations to believe that slavery still affected modern U.S. society and were the least likely of surveyed generations to have not considered the issue.

“Millennials appear to be the most sensitive to these conversations, even though they are the farthest removed from the civil rights era. Among practicing Christians, they are the generation most likely to report being aware of effects of slavery on our present-day society (65% vs. 55% of Gen X, 40% of Boomers, 41% of Elders),” noted Barna.

“Only 2 percent of millennials haven’t considered the impact of slavery on black Americans today. This could be because, as this and other Barna studies show, millennials (and Gen Z beyond them) are more likely to represent a multiethnic community.”

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Michael Gryboski