It almost goes without saying that a consistent thread in cultural conversation is the complex relationship between Christians and politics. It’s a complicated, nuanced and often contentious relationship. And new research shows an interesting twist: A study out last week from the Washington Post reveals that for a surprising number of Christians, this past election seemingly caused them to leave their churches.
Reportedly, 14 percent of Christians left their churches following the 2016 election.
This percentage come from comparing the church activity changes of 957 people surveyed. By mid-November, 14 percent of them left the churches they attended in September.
Some reporting points to the 81 percent of evangelicals who voted for president Donald Trump as a contributing factor to the drop off. But while that certainly may be part of the story, those leaving their congregations aren’t all evangelicals. In fact, not even the majority are: The Post’s stats show that of the 14 percent who left, 18 percent are mainline Protestants, 11 percent are Catholics and 10 percent are evangelicals.
Whatever else is going on, the departures do seem to be related to politics. Of those who say in general politics have become “divisive,” a healthy portion left their churches, and of those who don’t think so, almost none left their church.