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Evangelical vs. Born Again: A Survey of What Americans Say and Believe Beyond Politics

Less than half who claim either label have evangelical beliefs. Most likely: African Americans.
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Evangelical vs. Born Again: A Survey of What Americans Say and Believe Beyond Politics
Image: Hutton / Getty Images

For all the handwringing over what the term evangelical means in the political moment of Donald Trump and Roy Moore, only 1 in 100 Americans would take on the term if it had nothing to do with politics.

Meanwhile, the label is primarily a political identity for only about 1 in 10 self-identified evangelicals.

Overall, 1 in 4 Americans today consider themselves to be evangelicals. But less than half actually hold evangelical beliefs.

And when defined by beliefs and not by identity, evangelicals are less white (58% vs. 70%), more black (23% vs. 14%), and more likely to worship weekly (73% vs. 61%). However, they are not more likely to be Republican or Democrat.

These are among the findings of a groundbreaking survey of Americans with evangelical beliefs, released today by LifeWay Research.

Most surveys of religion and politics ask Americans a combined question—“Are you evangelical or born again?”—in order to create their “evangelical” category. LifeWay instead ...

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