Poll Finds Most Non-Mainline Pastors Spoke About Abortion From Pulpit Within Past Year

Photo Credit: Terri Heisele
Photo Credit: Terri Heisele

A poll conducted by the Barna Group finds that most non-mainline Protestant pastors have spoken about abortion from the pulpit over the past year, while the majority of denominations considered to be apostate did not.

Barna’s quarterly Pastor Poll inquired of 513 Protestant senior pastors and 88 Roman Catholic priests last December and January as to whether pro-life issues are a part of their assembly.

Mainline congregations were defined as American Baptist, United Church of Christ, Episcopal, Evangelical Lutheran, United Methodist and Presbyterian Church USA. All other Protestants, including non-denominational congregations, were classified as non-mainline.

Those polled were asked, “Have you, personally, ever talked about the pro-life cause from the pulpit or mentioned it in a sermon?”

While 73 percent of non-mainline pastors stated that they had discussed the issue, 59 percent of mainline ministers said they had not at any time. 91 percent of the Roman Catholic respondents had made abortion a part of their message.

The leaders were also asked, “Is your church currently involved with any pro-life cause activities?”

7 percent of non-mainline pastors said that their congregation had its own programs or activities, but 56 percent said that their assembly actively supports pro-life organizations and activities led by those other than their church. 20 percent said that they don’t believe their members are involved with the pro-life cause.

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For mainline ministers, 2 percent said that their congregation had its own programs or activities, and 24 percent stated that their assembly actively supports pro-life efforts. 49 percent of mainline respondents said that they don’t believe their members are involved with the pro-life cause.

85 percent of Roman Catholic priests said that their congregation was active in pro-life activities.

The group Students for Life, which also runs the Institute for Pro-Life Advancement, recently posted the poll results online. Students for Life had commissioned Barna to conduct the poll.

“Often, being introduced to the pro-life position comes through one’s faith, and if that introduction isn’t persuasive and nothing is ever said again in the place of worship about the tragedy of abortion, opportunities are missed to build a well-educated and passionate pro-life community,” said President Kristan Hawkins in a statement.

“The base of our movement is found in churches but if Christians aren’t hearing the pro-life message on a regular basis, they aren’t going to be able to get active saving lives, converting others to our movement, and, ultimately, changing the hearts and minds needed to transform our culture,” she stated.

A previous poll also found that 54 percent of women who had an abortion self-identified as Christian, and 76 percent of those who ended their child’s life said that their church had no influence on them in the matter.


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