Barna Group Research Finds Only 30 Percent of American Adults Have a ‘Positive’ Perception of Evangelicals

Evangelical supporters of Donald Trump praying at a rally in Florida in this undated photo. | (Photo: Reuters/Carlo Allegri)

Thirty percent of adults in the United States have a “positive” perception of evangelicals as Americans increasingly view the religious demographic through a political lens, newly released Barna Group research indicates. 

According to the evangelical polling firm, evangelicals make up about 6 percent of the U.S. population but have assumed a “unique place in national discourse.”

“Based on a nationwide study of U.S. adults, we found that, though many people still view evangelicals as a committed group of believers who put their faith first, their political connotation puts the future of American evangelicalism in a precarious spot,” a summary of the new report, “The Brand of Evangelicals,” reads.

The research comes as strong support for President Donald Trump and his administration’s socially conservative policies have placed white evangelicals in the national media spotlight in recent years.

According to Barna President David Kinnaman, the findings of the research show a “clear indication of the divided nature of the U.S. population” in which “evangelicals are at the epicenter of many of those differences of opinion, worldview, and practice.”

“On the one side, there are evangelicals and those favorable toward evangelicals; the other side includes those who hold unfavorable views of evangelicals,” Kinnaman wrote in the report’s conclusion. “It appears never the two shall meet.”

The report is based on interviews with adults 18 and older and included 1,067 online surveys conducted from Nov. 12-15, 2018. The sample includes a margin of error of 3 percentage points.

Respondents were asked to detail whether their own opinions or perceptions of evangelicals is positive or negative.

Fifteen percent of the 1,067 respondents said their perception or opinion of evangelicals is “very positive,” while another 15 percent said their view of evangelicals is “somewhat positive.”

Another 15 percent of respondents said their view of evangelicals is “somewhat negative,” and 10 percent said “very negative.”

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Samuel Smith