10 January 2011
UK evangelical Christians distinct yet diverse
David believes evolution and Christianity are compatible although Julie is not so sure. David donates - or tithes - part of his monthly income to his church, while Julie does not. But what these two people do have in common is their belief that Jesus is the only way to God.
'David' and 'Julie' are fictitious but they are not untypical among evangelical Christians in Britain. Their views show that evangelical Christians are similar in attitude and conviction but can also have differing opinions on a range of issues such as women in leadership and assisted suicide.
A new survey of 17,000 people provides a fascinating insight into the beliefs, opinions and habits of evangelical Christians. Respondents were asked a range of questions on topics as diverse as belief in miracles, abortion, the Bible and sex before marriage.
Findings showed that just over half of respondents strongly agree that women ought to be eligible for all roles within the church in the same way as men are. Two out of ten respondents said they did not believe that hell is a place where the condemned will suffer eternal conscious pain, while a further three out of ten were unsure what they believe.
The survey also revealed that only 13 per cent strongly agreed that it is wrong to have homosexual feelings, while almost three quarters agreed that it is wrong to some extent to translate those feelings into sexual actions.
The research also showed that congregations from Evangelical Alliance member churches alone are already contributing half a million unpaid hours in serving their local community or in social action each week.
The research was carried out by the Evangelical Alliance together with Christian Research at Christian festivals last summer. The questionnaire was also completed at 35 randomly selected Evangelical Alliance member churches. The aim of the survey is to provide churches and Christian organisations with the type of data that will help them better understand and work with the communities they serve.
Steve Clifford, General Director for the Alliance, says: "This research helps us speak with greater confidence about our evangelical community, the things that are important to us and the significant contribution that we are making to the community around us. By presenting an accurate picture of evangelicals today, we can be much better equipped to make effective plans for tomorrow."
The initial report and results will be freely available to the public online at www.eauk.org/snapshot at 2pm on 11 January, 2011.
Tel: 07766 444 650
Notes to Editors
The Evangelical Alliance
We are the largest and oldest body representing the UK’s two million evangelical Christians. For more than 165 years, we have been bringing Christians together and helping them listen to, and be heard by, the government, media and society. We’re here to connect people for a shared mission, whether it’s celebrating the Bible, making a difference in our communities or lobbying the government for a better society. From Skye to Southampton, from Coleraine to Cardiff, we work across 79 denominations, 3,500 churches, 750 organisations and thousands of individual members. And we're not just uniting Christians within the UK – we are a founding member of the World Evangelical Alliance, a global network of more than 600 million evangelical Christians. For more information, go to www.eauk.org.