New Pew Forum Survey Explores Views of Evangelical Protestant Leaders Around the World

General June 24, 2011
Global Religious FutureWashington, D.C. — In a new survey by the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life, most evangelical Protestant leaders who live in the Global South (58%) say that evangelical Christians are gaining influence on life in their countries. By contrast, most leaders who live in the Global North (66%) say that, in the societies in which they live, evangelicals are losing influence. U.S. evangelical leaders are especially downbeat about the prospects for evangelical Christianity in their society; 82% say evangelicals are losing influence in the United States today, while only 17% think evangelicals are gaining influence.

In general, evangelical leaders who live in the Global South (sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East/North Africa, Latin America and most of Asia) are optimistic about the prospects for evangelicalism in their countries, while those who live in the Global North (Europe, North America, Japan, Australia and New Zealand) tend to be more pessimistic. Seven-in-ten evangelical leaders who live in the Global South (71%) expect that five years from now the state of evangelicalism in their countries will be better than it is today. But a majority of evangelical leaders in the Global North expect that the state of evangelicalism in their countries will either stay about the same (21%) or worsen (33%) over the next five years.

These are among the key findings of the Global Survey of Evangelical Protestant Leaders, which offers a detailed portrait of 2,196 evangelical leaders from 166 countries and territories who were invited to attend the Third Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization (also known as “Cape Town 2010”) held in October 2010 in Cape Town, South Africa. The Pew Forum conducted the survey with the assistance of the Lausanne Movement as part of Cape Town 2010. It is the latest report of the Pew-Templeton Global Religious Futures project, an effort funded by The Pew Charitable Trusts  and the John Templeton Foundation to analyze religious change and its impact on societies around the world.


Other major findings include:

Evangelical Beliefs and Practices

 Tensions with Secularism and Modernity

 

Relations with Other Religious Traditions


Social and Political Attitudes

 

The Pew Forum conducted the survey in nine languages, including English, from August to December 2010. A total of approximately 4,500 people participated in the Third Lausanne Congress, and nearly half of them completed the survey.

For additional findings, read the full report on the Pew Forum’s website.

 

The Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life conducts surveys, demographic analyses and other social science research on important aspects of religion and public life in the U.S. and around the world. As part of the Washington-based Pew Research Center, a nonpartisan, nonadvocacy organization, the Pew Forum does not take positions on any of the issues it covers or on policy debates.