A new study has revealed that transgenders are actually more likely to have a perfect church attendance compared to homosexuals or heterosexuals.
The study, entitled Cooperative Congressional Election Study, was made by Denison University's Paul A. Djupe. It was designed to offer "an unparalleled view at the gender identity and sexuality of Americans and American religion," according to The Christian Post.
Djupe asked 65,000 respondents comprising people with different sexual identities. Around 1,041 of them identified themselves as transgender, while 4,737 identified themselves as either gay, lesbian or bisexual.
He discovered that almost half of the transgender people who identify themselves as "evangelical" or "born again" are the most likely to attend religious services regularly.
Some people might assume that transgenders would be turned off by the church because of the evangelical community's opposition to same-sex marriage and transgender rights. But Djupe said the study proves otherwise.
"LGBT Americans are not irreligious and they are spread around the many religious traditions in the United States, especially but not nearly exclusively in non-Christian and non-religious groups," Djupe said.
He revealed that the percentage of transgenders who identify with some kind of religious faith is admittedly smaller than the general population. But among those who do, 44 percent of them say they are either "born again" or "evangelical," which is comparitively larger than the 30 percent of heterosexuals who identify as such.
At the same time, transgenders go to church more regularly compared to heterosexuals, gays and lesbians, who normally go to church once or twice a month.
"Heterosexuals average attending just over 'a few times a year,' while gay men attend just under that mark," Djupe's study shows. "Lesbians attend at a slightly higher rate than gay men and are indistinguishable from bisexuals. The highest attendance rates are among transgender Americans who attend just above 'once or twice a month.'"
The same thing can be said with regards to the frequency of private prayer, "though transgender Americans do not pray at distinguishably higher rates from others." Both average "a few times per week," Djupe noted.
The evangelical community has often been at odds with how to welcome transgenders and the LGBT community in the church, or if they should welcome them at all. But for those who do, More Light By Presbyterians has offered some tips on how to do so.
First, their list stated that church members should never make assumptions about a person's gender, and they should give people the choice about whether to share that information or not.
The church should also implement anti-harassment policies and provide adult education classes and sermons that would open up dialogue about welcoming transgender people.
"Remember that transgender people come to church for the same reasons you do: a connection to God in a loving community where worship and working for equality and justice are the focus of the Christian experience," they said.