Most pastors supportive of anti-racism protests - survey

(Photo: Unsplash/Max Bender)

The vast majority of American pastors support peaceful anti-racism protests, new research by the Barna Group has found. 

Protests have been taking place across the US since the death of unarmed black man George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police officers. 

Of the 400 pastors surveyed by Barna, 76% said they believed churches should support the protests, The Christian Post reports.

Well over half (62%) said their churches had addressed the anti-racism protests, and an overwhelming majority (94%) said it was the Church's responsibility to publicly denounce racism. 

Barna President David Kinnaman told CP that "church leaders are actively leaning in on conversations about racism in America in a way that they haven't in the past."

"It may surprise some, but it did not surprise me that 76% of church leaders believe the church should support peaceful protests or demonstrations happening across the nation," Kinnaman said.

However, he said there was more the Church could be doing. 

"What the church seems to have been convinced of in recent weeks is that this is more of a widespread problem, and they are being called to take a more proactive, bold stance toward racial justice," he said.

The death of Floyd has prompted soul-searching among church leaders and Christians, with dozens of academics this week releasing a statement condemning the role of evangelicals in slavery and racial injustice. 

"An Evangelical Statement on the Gospel and Racism" was signed by a number of high profile figures, including Don Carson, President of The Gospel Coalition, and Dr Albert Mohler, President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. 

"As evangelical academic voices, we condemn racism as contrary to Scripture and to the evangelical gospel," the statement said.

"Evangelical history includes positively many voices for justice and pioneers of abolitionism, such as William Wilberforce, but also negatively those who assimilated the values of their surrounding unjust culture."