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Poll examines belief among pastors, evangelical leaders

July 8, 2011

By Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life

[Below are highlights from the report] These are among the key findings of a survey by the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life of 2,196 evangelical leaders from 166 countries and territories who were invited to attend the Third Lausanne Congress of World Evangelization, a 10-day gathering of ministers and lay leaders held in October 2010 in Cape Town, South Africa.

The survey finds nearly unanimous agreement among the global evangelical leaders on some key beliefs, such as that Christianity is the one, true faith leading to eternal life. They also hold traditional views on family and social issues. For example, more than nine-in-ten say abortion is usually wrong (45%) or always wrong (51%). About eight-in-ten say that society should discourage homosexuality (84%) and that men should serve as the religious leaders in the marriage and family (79%).

Virtually all the leaders surveyed (98%) also agree that the Bible is the word of God. But they are almost evenly divided between those who say the Bible should be read literally, word for word (50%), and those who do not think that everything in the Bible should be taken literally (48%). They are similarly split on whether it is necessary to believe in God in order to be a moral person (49% yes, 49% no), and whether drinking alcohol is compatible with being a good evangelical (42% yes, 52% no).

  
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