Survey reveals diversity of beliefs among evangelicals

The Evangelical Alliance and Christian Research surveyed 17,000 British evangelicals on a range of issues, from their beliefs concerning miracles and the Bible, to their stance on abortion and homosexuality.

There was clear consensus on the uniqueness of Christ, with 91% of evangelicals strongly agreeing that he is the only way to God.

Eighty-eight per cent strongly agreed that faith was the most important thing in their life, while 83% strongly agreed that faith was an important factor in decision making.

Ninety-four per cent of evangelicals agreed that Christians have a duty to care for the environment and 81% said they did some kind of voluntary work at least once a month.

On other issues, opinions were more divergent. While evangelicals generally agreed that the Bible is the inspired Word of God, only 54% said they believe the Bible, in its original manuscript, to be without error.

When it comes to abortion, the differences are also considerable, with nearly as many strongly agreeing that abortion can never be justified as those who strongly disagreed with the statement, 20% and 17% respectively.

Less than half of evangelicals strongly agreed that assisted suicide was always wrong (42%), while 24% said they were uncertain about what to believe on this issue.

Evangelicals were even more uncertain when it came to hell, with 31% saying they were unsure what to believe, although half either strongly agreed or agreed that it was a place where the condemned would suffer eternal conscious pain.

The findings also revealed a range of opinions in relation to homosexuality. While only 13% said they strongly agreed that it was wrong to have homosexual feelings, 59% said they strongly agreed that homosexual actions were always wrong.

Steve Clifford, General Director for the Alliance, said: “This research helps us speak with greater confidence about our evangelical community, the things that are important to us and the significant contribution that we are making to the community around us.

“By presenting an accurate picture of evangelicals today, we can be much better equipped to make effective plans for tomorrow.”