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Most pastors say U.S. religious freedom on decline, survey shows

Most pastors say U.S. religious freedom on decline, survey shows


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SALT LAKE CITY — A survey of America’s Protestant preachers shows growing concern about religious freedoms in America and Christians losing the “culture war.”

The survey by LifeWay Research of Nashville, Tenn., indicates 70 percent of senior pastors agreed with the statement, “Religious liberty is on the decline in America.” An earlier survey showed among all Americans, 54 percent of respondents agreed with that statement.

Additionally, about seven in 10 senior pastors at Protestant churches believe Christians have lost or are losing the culture war.

“I think there’s a perception that there’s a shift in culture, and many people of faith are uncomfortable with what’s it’s going to look like in the end,” said Ed Stetzer, president of LifeWay.

He also noted that in the past, Christians assumed Americans would look to the church for guidance on moral issues. “Even if people did not go to church, they looked to the church,” Stetzer said.

He said the government and culture no longer defer to Protestant Christians. While many find it worrisome, Stetzer noted one positive view, saying it requires Christians to be “more active in living out their faith.”

The telephone survey of Protestant senior pastors was taken Sept. 4-19, 2013.

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Linda Williams


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