Immigration’s effect on Evangelicalism

The demographic makeup of the evangelical movement within American christendom is changing. The driver of this change appears to be the assimilation into evangelicalism of large numbers of immigrants from around the world. Their presence is effecting the way evangelicals as whole view the relationship between Church and State, but it’s also serving to reinforce many of the existing social views of present evangelicalism.

From an article on the Social Science Research Council’s blog:

“As American evangelical Christianity is increasingly made up of people and movements from every part of the world, some things may change in evangelical Christians’ outlook. One can expect that the modest current trend, especially in the rising generation, toward more concern about poverty at home and abroad, will continue to grow. So might interest in foreign policy; today’s evangelicals are already growing increasingly concerned about human rights abroad, and the many new immigrants in their midst likely will support those views. Concern about fixing the broken immigration system will also grow. Other things that currently characterize evangelical opinion and outlook will likely be fortified, such as traditional views about sexual behavior and families.

Among Latinos, the one politically important group today with a large immigrant population, these trends are already clear. Latino evangelicals support government programs to help the poor and vulnerable, but also strong ‘pro-life’ and ‘traditional marriage’ social views. Which political party benefits? Latino evangelicals are fairly evenly split at the moment, Pew polls show, with 32 percent favoring the Democrats and 37 percent favoring the Republicans. Latino evangelicals going Republican has been a much-discussed trend, but neither party at the moment lines up as a perfect match for the group’s concerns. For many, the subtitle of Jim Wallis’ recent book, God’s Politics, pretty much sums up how these views cross-cut current partisanship: ‘the right gets it wrong and the left doesn’t get it.’”

Read the full article here.

Category : The Lead