UK Evangelicals in the 21st Century Social and political engagement Greg Smith... Research Manager Evangelical Alliance and Associate Research Fellow, William Temple Foundation [email protected] Paper for Socrel Conference High Leigh July 2015 The research and the book baseline survey of 12,000+ in 2010 quarterly panel surveys since then samples range from 1,150 to 2,200 various topics, religious and social popular glossy reports all available online at http://www.eauk.org/church/resources/snapshot/ Book published March 2015
Analysis and sociological or theological reflection by various academic colleagues Some limitations? 1. Opportunity sample of volunteers therefore we cannot claim it is representative; we have a portrait of keen evangelicals who are in contact with the Alliance 2. Although without an enumeration of British Evangelicals (who as a constituency have fuzzy boundaries) it is difficult to see how it could be. 3. Being an online survey there are biases digitally excluded people are missing Women are under-represented especially in the older generation while churches often have large numbers of older women BME groups are probably under-represented
4. We have limited comparative data with other types of Christians and the general population Who are British Evangelicals? Across Protestant denominations Anglican Baptist Charismatic - New Churches Other evangelicals ... (this is independents.. brethren etc) Free Church denomination (eg Methodist, URC, Salvation Army) Pentecostal Church of Scotland or other Presbyterian 30% 20% 18% 13% 7% 6% 4%
Are found in almost all regions and social groups but tend above the average for the population to be Middle class, affluent, Educated in (or retired from) professional work, White British, living in southern England in stable marriages and conventional families Possibly 2 million in Number and a third of British Churchgoers.. (Tear Fund) What are their core beliefs? Unique Incarnation 97% agree that Jesus is the only way to God. Resurrection 91% agreed or strongly agreed with the statement that Jesus rose from the tomb with a physical body 78% strongly agreed with the statement I am confident that when I die I will enjoy everlasting life God is at work in them 76% agree or strongly agree that they can see God at work in my life on a daily basis 98% agree or strongly agree that they can see God at work in
their life over the long term World view at odds with secular culture 4 distinctives of Evangelicals (Bebbington) High view of Scripture 93% see the Bible as the inspired word of God 82% read it at least a few times a week (baseline survey) Conversion and Personal faith commitment 94% agree that everyone needs to be born again 72% made a decision to follow Christ before the age of 20 (Confidently sharing the gospel?) Focus on the Cross, atonement and forgiveness of sins 89% agree the central message is that on the cross Jesus bore the punishment for my sins Activism in mission Evangelical social activism Evangelism But 48% say they are too scared to talk about faith to
non-Christians More likely to think in terms of showing Gods love hoping it will win souls Volunteering 58% actively involved in a social action project but within the cocoon of the church.. (huge numbers involved in food banks..) Only 21% involved in a secular community or voluntary organisation Voting. More than 95% of our panellists say they voted in the genral election 2015 91% in 2011 said they would vote in the referendum on AV (national turnout was 42%) VOTING AND POLITICAL VIEWS As divided as the country.. There is no Evangelical block vote And their social class and location concentrated in Southern England should make them natural Tories.
Which political party did you vote for on 7 May (in the election for your MP)? 1% 3% 00% % 1% 1% 1% 1% 0% 1% 0% 4% 11% 29% 15% 7%
25% I did not vote Labour BNP Plaid Cymru Alliance Party (NI) Sinn Fein (NI) Conservative Liberal Democrat Christian People's Alliance SNP (Scottish National Party) DUP (NI) UUP (NI) Green UKIP Christian Party I spoiled my paper SDLP (NI) Other (please specify)
What are their core social values? conservative on sexuality and life issues religious liberty economically liberal pro welfare individualistic internationalist Is this a contradiction? Or signs of a shiftwith more liberal evangelicals becoming less religious?... or a coherent Christian world view? Emerging identity and cultural shifts Age shifts. The Fuzzy fringe The Toxic E word.. Women and younger people More liberal
politically and morally Sexuality issues Which one of the following statements best describes your relationship to the evangelical label? 10% 11% 15% 29% 35% I consider myself an evangelical Christian and frequently use the word evangelical when describing myself as a Christian I consider myself an evangelical Christian and occasionally use the word evangelical when describing myself as a Christian I consider myself an evangelical Christian but would never use the word evangelical when describing myself as a Christian
I do not consider myself to be an evangelical Christian I am unsure what the word 'evangelical' means The Toxic E word FROM the One people Commission survey of under 35s 2015 Christians who are not (quite?) Evangelical : Voting The Non Evangelicals and Not Sures (about 200) Which political party did you vote for on 7 May UKIP 5%
Liberal Democrat 11% Labour 32% Green 22% Conservative 0% 16% 5% 10% 15%
20% 25% 30% 35% Evangelicals Voting intentions by Age and Gender female born after 1980 51% 43% born 60s or 70s born before1960 male
17% 24% 33% born after 1980 41% born 60s or 70s 40% 0% 10% 33% 29% 39%
42% 18% 34% 30% born before1960 32% 26% 45% 20% 30% 40% left
50% right Voting intentions by gender and age politics survey September 2014 Left = Labour, Green, Lib Dem, SNP etc Right = Tory, UKIP, DUP, UUP etc. 25% 60% undecided 70% 80% 90% 100% voting intentions by Gender September 2014
UKIP 4.2% 13.3% 8.9% 8.6% Liberal Democrat Labour Green 21.3% 4.1% 4.3% 18.0% Conservative 0.0% 27.2%
5.0% 10.0% 15.0% Male Female 20.0% 24.2% 25.0% 30.0% Evangelicals by age on a key moral issue Opposition to same-sex marriage legislation born 1980 or later 28%
born 60s or 70s 32% 38% born before 1960 25% 33% 20% 56% 0% 10% 20%
30% Important to me and WILL affect my vote Not very important to me 15% 28% 40% 50% 60% 70% 9% 11%
80% 90% Important to me but will not greatly affect my vote This would lessen my support for them 5% 100% Opposition to same-sex marriage legislation by politics Total 46% 30% voting right of centre 62%
23% voting left of centre 27% 35% 25% 55% other or undecided 0% 10% 20% 30%
Important to me and WILL affect my vote Not very important to me 16% 50% 60% 70% 9% 2% 17% 29% 40% 8%
12% 3% 80% 90% 100% Important to me but will not greatly affect my vote This would lessen my support for them Opposition to same-sex marriage legislation evangelical Christian 46% Christian but not evangelical 20%
0% 10% 30% 15% 20% 30% Important to me and WILL affect my vote Not very important to me 16% 25% 40% 50%
8% 40% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% Important to me but will not greatly affect my vote This would lessen my support for them Opposition to same-sex marriage legislation Female 43%
Male 33% 48% 0% 10% 20% 16% 29% 30% 40% 50%
60% 8% 15% 70% 80% 7% 90% 100% Important to me and WILL affect my vote Important to me but will not greatly affect my vote Not very important to me
This would lessen my support for them There is a gender difference but it is not statistically significant Further areas of research UK Data archive. All data sets have been deposited and will be available with documentation in next month or so. Some possible research projects for your students Qualitative data there is a plethora of textual data in open ended comments Multivariate analysis: So far we have only reported on simple cross tabulations by gender, age group, denomination etc. Possibility of regression models and factor analysis on attitude scales. Panel survey linkage We have proved the concept but it seems to lose over 40% of cases in two contiguous waves of the panel Forthcoming topics British values / health & wellbeing / Possibly thenfresh expressions churches/ environment & creation mega survey..
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