27 February 2015
MYTH BUSTERS: Isn’t it illegal to preach politics from the pulpit?
Our Faith in Politics? survey showed that half of evangelicals attended churches where there is some encouragement to vote and take up particular issues or lobby on particular policies. We aren't here to advise you legally, but here's some simple things your church can do to encourage your congregations to Show Up.
- Two thirds of respondents said the issue of UK poverty had been spoken about in their church in the last year. Other top issues were marriage, persecution, international poverty and human trafficking. You can directly address the issues facing the UK and encourage your congregants to respond to them politically and practically.
- In the survey, 80 per cent said their church was not interested or able to distribute materials about election issues. But this is a great way of ensuring your congregation is educated to make the right decision at the ballot box. Only 10 per cent are currently doing this.
- An encouraging 30 per cent of churches have previously held hustings, but a further 24 per cent might hold one this year. Will you? A hustings is an open meeting and a chance for voters to meet the candidates who want to represent them in local or national politics, such as parliament. It's also a great chance to invite the wider community to your church, showing the Church's relevance today.
- Praying for forthcoming elections is something that the Church seems better at. The majority of churches have already or will this year pray for the election, with only 23 per cent saying this is something their church would not be interested in doing. Christians have the ability to influence the political landscape of this country through more than just voting. Regularly praying for both national and local government is an easy way to do this, or why not invite local politicians to a prayer meeting for them in your area.