57% percent of pastors, 64% of youth pastors in U.S. struggle with porn addiction, survey shows

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The lure of the flesh in the form of pornography is hooking more and more people, sadly including pastors who should have known better.

In a recent online survey of 432 pastors and 338 youth pastors in the U.S., the Barna Group—an evangelical Christian polling firm based in Ventura, California—found out that 57 percent of pastors and 64 percent of youth pastors in the U.S. have succumbed to pornography either currently or in the past, CBN News reported.

Of this number, 14 percent of pastors and 21 percent of youth pastors say they are currently dealing with the problem.

In the study, the findings of which were announced earlier this week, more than one in 10 youth pastors and one in 20 pastors describe their struggle as an addiction.

The majority of pastors struggling with porn addiction say the latter has adversely affected their ministry. Some 87 percent of these pastors have confided that they feel a deep sense of shame for having allowed themselves to be victimised by pornography. More than half—55 percent—said they live in constant fear of being discovered by their family, fellow pastors and their congregants.

The Barna study showed a marked difference between the way pastors and adult Christians think about the consequences for pastors who are hooked on pornography. More than 40 percent of adult Christians think churches should dismiss pastors who are found to be addicted to porn. In contrast, only 8 percent of pastors think fellow pastors found using porn should resign, saying they could still be saved from sin through counselling and giving them a sense of accountability.

More than 9 in 10 pastors agree that pornography is a bigger problem now compared to the past. More than half of the surveyed youth pastors say they've had at least one teen ask them for help in the last year.

Josh McDowell Ministry and Cru (formerly Campus Crusade for Christ) commissioned the study. Barna plans to release a full report, called "The Porn Phenomenon," this April.

Lifestyle