Half of U.S. Protestants want to attend church with people who agree with them politically, according to a LifeWay Research report published in early November.
Presented with the statement, “I prefer to attend a church where people share my political views,” 50% of all respondents said they agree – 19% strongly and 31% somewhat. This is a four-point increase from 2017.
By comparison, 40% disagreed (23% strongly and 17% somewhat), which is a two-point decline from 2017. The remaining 10% were unsure (down two points).
Younger respondents were more likely than older respondents to agree (57% for ages 18-34; 57% for ages 35-49; 47% for ages 50-65; 41% for ages 65 and older), while white (54%) and African American (53%) respondents were more likely than Hispanic respondents (25%) to agree.
Methodist respondents (88%) were more likely than Church of Christ (80%), Baptist (47%), Presbyterian (47%), Lutheran (38%) and non-denominational (38%) respondents to agree.
“Studies have shown that voting patterns and political affiliation correlate with the type of church and amount of church involvement someone has,” said Scott McConnell, executive director of Lifeway Research, in a press release announcing the report. “But when asked if churchgoers want political similarity to flow back into their church relationships, this is desirable for only half of churchgoers.”
A majority (55%) of all respondents say that most of their fellow parishioners share their political views (a five-point increase from 2017), while 23% say they do not (a four-point increase) and 22% are not sure (an eight-point decrease).
African American (60%) and white (58%) respondents were more likely than Hispanic (35%) respondents to agree, while Methodist respondents (89%) were more likely than Church of Christ (76%) and Baptist (59%) respondents to agree.
The full report is available here.