Belief

Evangelicals Are Leaving Their Churches Over Donald Trump

Over one in ten left their church by mid-November and about 15 percent of church-going Americans who think politics has become too divisive left their church as well

Photo Credit: barnyz/Flickr Creative Commons

President Donald Trump might be the most divisive politician in history, but for many, politics is left behind when sitting in the pews. For others, bringing politics to the altar is driving them away.

survey from The Washington Post interviewed evangelicals before the 2016 election and after. Over one in ten left their church by mid-November and about 15 percent of church-going Americans who think politics has become too divisive left their church as well.

Two groups ultimately ended up leaving their churches: Those who liked Trump while the pastor did not and those who didn’t like Trump but felt their pastor did. The no-win situation might be one of the reasons that pastors stopped talking about politics after November.

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This isn’t the first election where evangelicals played a role in politics. In 2004, President George W. Bush’s senior advisor Karl Rove worked with religious leaders to ensure 10 million evangelicals came to the polls to support Bush.

The Post cited a forthcoming article that outlines two decades of data gathered about what happens to parishioners when they disagree with their church. However, Pew data also reveals that progressive and moderate evangelicals have been fleeing from churches for decades as their churches were taken over by the right-wing.

 

Sarah K. Burris covers digital media and politics for Raw Story.