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A new joint study by the Public research religion Institute (PRRI) and the Brookings institution shows that less than half of Americans consider their country a Christian nation, writes Christian Examiner.
Impartial study which examines the issues underlying the presidential elections of 2016, immigration, changing cultural practices, attitudes towards authoritarianism, and terrorism — also sheds light on the attitude of Americans towards Islam and the notion of discrimination against Christians.
According to the study, less than half of the respondents (41%) believe that the US is and always was a “Christian nation.” Another 42% said the country was Christian at the time, but not anymore. Thus, 83% of Americans believe that faith plays a role in U.S. history.
It is not surprising that there are huge differences in opinions about the role of Christianity in American history the party line. Democrats are much more likely to abandon the role of Christianity in public life of the United States.
“44% of Republicans say the U.S. has always been and continues to be, a Christian country, while the majority (51%) believes that America was once a Christian nation, but no more. Only 5% of Republicans said that the United States was never a Christian country. In contrast, four of ten (40%) of Democrats think the U.S. is currently a Christian country, while only about one third (36%) believe that the US was previously Christian country, but not today. Moreover, one-fifth (22%) Democrat says that the US never was a Christian country,” the study says.
Also not surprising that perceptions about the role of Christianity in public life of the United States vary depending on religious affiliation. For example, white Evangelical Protestants are “most inclined to believe that the US has lost its Christian identity, and this belief increased significantly over the past four years.”
Four years ago, the number of white Protestant evangelicals, who believed that the country was a Christian state was 45%, and the number of those who believed that it was at one time a Christian nation, but no more was 48%. Today, a minority (37%) believe that America is not a Christian country. At the same time 59% think that America does not belong to the Christian countries, although he was such.
Other groups, including the main part of white Protestants, black Protestants, and Catholics (Hispanic and white) who do not necessarily share the biblical gospel eschatology and dire predictions about the decline of Christian culture, as a rule, are more prone to view America as a Christian nation.
Age also plays a role in views about the Christian history of America. The older the Respondent, the more likely that it refers to America as “a Christian nation”. Almost half (49%) of respondents aged 65 years and older said they believe that America was a Christian country, and another 39% said that once was but is no more. The number steadily decreased to the lower limit in the age category 18-29 years, where only 32% believe America is inherently Christian.
It is important to note that the study does not define the term “Christian nation”. So it is not clear, it means that the country was founded on Christianity and Christian principles, or was (is currently) a nation composed primarily of Christians.