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Among Evangelicals, Millennial Views Are More Liberal

Young churchgoers are still more conservative than other members of their generation.

Influence Magazine on May 15, 2017

The generation gap in today’s evangelical church goes beyond clothing and worship styles. A recent report from Pew Research Center suggests Millennial evangelicals are more liberal than older adherents.

For instance, 51 percent of U.S. Millennial adults (those born between 1981 and 1996) who identify as evangelical say society should accept homosexuality, and 45 percent favor same-sex marriage. By comparison, 32 percent of American evangelicals born before 1981 believe society should accept homosexuality, and 23 percent favor gay marriage.

Similarly, 41 percent of Millennial evangelicals want bigger government, compared to just 27 percent of older evangelicals. Millennial evangelicals are also more likely than older evangelicals to say stricter environment laws are worth the cost (55 percent vs. 43 percent).

A generation gap isn’t apparent on every issue, however. For instance, 65 percent of Millennials and 63 percent of older evangelicals agree that abortion should be illegal in all or most cases.

Despite generational differences within the church, young evangelicals are still more conservative than other members of their generation. While 49 percent of Millennial evangelicals oppose same-sex marriage, only 20 percent of all Millennials hold this view. Four in 10 young evangelicals say society should discourage homosexuality, compared to 15 percent of the overall Millennial population. And on the issue of abortion, the 65 percent of evangelicals in that age group who say abortion should be illegal in all or most cases far exceeds the total percentage of Millennials who favor outlawing it (36 percent).

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