Pew Research Shows Politics and Culture Wars Aren’t Fueling an Exodus From Church

Contrary to popular belief, politics and the so-called “culture wars” aren’t driving people to abandon their Christian faith.

That’s according to new findings from Pew Research.

Pew’s analysts examined American evangelicals along political and racial lines. Among other things, Pew notes that:

  • There was no mass departure of White Americans from evangelical Protestantism between 2016 and 2020.
  • There is no clear evidence that White evangelicals who opposed Trump were more likely than Trump supporters to leave the evangelical fold.
  • The share of non-White U.S. adults who abandoned the born-again/evangelical label in recent years is offset by the share who adopted it.

In other words, there just doesn’t seem to be a mass exodus from evangelical churches over politics.

It’s worth pointing out that what many people call the “culture war” isn’t new. Churches have opposed abortion and infanticide for the better part of the past 1,900 years, and Christians have affirmed that marriage ought to be the union of one man to one woman since the first century. Believers have addressed these topics and others publicly for the past two millennia.

These conversations are nothing new, and this latest research from Pew just goes to show that they don’t seem to be hurting evangelical churches.

State Releases New COVID-19 Guidance for Churches

Unlike other states, Arkansas has never shut down places of worship during the COVID-19 outbreak.

However, the state has issued guidance to help ensure church meetings do not spread the coronavirus.

On Monday the Arkansas Department of Health issued updated guidance for churches and nonprofit organizations.

According to the state’s guidelines, churches are strongly encouraged to continue meeting online rather than in-person.

However, churches who meet in-person during this time must:

  • Discourage churchgoers from attending meetings if they have fever, cough, shortness of breath, or other COVID-19 symptoms, or if they have been exposed to the virus.
  • Advise people 65 or older or who have other underlying health conditions that they may not want to attend services
  • Inform people that no one will be admitted without a face mask

Churches must provide hand sanitizer stations at all public entrances.

Congregants must maintain strict social distancing indoors and outdoors.

Meet and greet times should be outdoors, if possible; church refreshments should be outdoors only, as well.

According to the guidelines, churches also should refrain from having altar calls, passing items among churchgoers, and conducting childcare or Sunday school classes.

You can find the full guidelines for churches here.

If the Arkansas Department of Health’s website fails to properly load the guidelines, you can find a copy of the guidelines on Google’s server here.

You can find additional information for churches from the Health Department here.