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62 Percent of U.S. Adults Believe Churches Are Helping the Country Move in a Positive Direction

62 Percent of U.S. Adults Believe Churches Are Helping the Country Move in a Positive Direction

Many Americans say they believe that churches are helping the country move in a positive direction, according to a new study from Pew Research.

The July 2021 study showed that 62 percent of U.S. adults believe churches and religious organizations have a “positive effect” on the U.S. About 35 percent said churches have a negative impact.

In an August 2019 study, before the pandemic began in March 2020, about 58 percent of respondents said they believed churches were helping the country move in a better direction.

Other positive institutions helping the country were: K-12 public schools (61 percent), colleges (57 percent), unions (55 percent), technology companies (52 percent) and banks (49 percent).

Two institutions rated lower were the entertainment industry (34 percent said it is helpful in moving the country forward) and large corporations (29 percent).

Also in the study, Democrats were more likely than Republicans to express positive views of major institutions, while Republicans were more likely to say churches had a positive impact.

Lifeway Research said Pew Research previously conducted surveys via phone interviews but is now doing surveys through online panels. Results before August 2019, when surveys were conducted by phone, cannot be directly compared to survey results from online polling.

But in 2010, Pew Research reported that 63 percent of Americans believed churches were positively impacting the country. That number fell over the next decade until July 2019, when the number was at a low of 52 percent.

Compared to Gallup poll results, however, the nation’s outlook on churches is unclear. In Gallup’s 2021 survey, only 37 percent of respondents said they had “quite a lot” or “a great deal” of trust in churches and religious organizations. In 2019, that number was a record low of 36 percent.

The highest mark for confidence in churches was in 1975, with 68 percent saying they held “a great deal” of trust for their churches.

Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Chuang Tzu Dreaming

Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.