Religious liberty and freedom of expression are the most important issues affecting the way evangelical Christians vote, a new survey has found.
Evangelical Alliance’s (EA) survey – which heard from over 2,000 self-identifying evangelicals – also found the issues of same-sex marriage, euthanasia and abortion are important considerations in their decision making.
The survey found very high levels of political engagement, but EA’s Director of Advocacy said: “Many commented that the redefinition of marriage had badly damaged their view of politics.”
When questioned on what issues would affect how they voted, 71 per cent said religious liberty and free speech.
Among the other top ten important policy positions to evangelicals, opposing same-sex marriage legislation, protecting life and reducing the availability of pornography all featured prominently.
The survey also found 85 per cent agreed with the statement: “We should support legislation that encourages traditional Christian values”.
Over 90 per cent of respondents said they would be certain or likely to vote in the upcoming General Election, and 83 per cent were able to name their local MP – a far higher figure than among the national population.
Respondents said the “single most important issue facing the UK today” was poverty/inequality, with the economy in second place.
The survey also asked where people get their information about politics – 72 per cent go to BBC TV news, nearly half use online services and over a quarter access political content via social media.
In the survey’s afterword, EA’s General Director Steve Clifford said he was encouraged that evangelicals are engaging in politics, and “markedly more than the general population”.
He urged churches “across the UK to take the exciting opportunity of actively encouraging Christians to engage with local and national politics and prayerfully support those who are already involved in public life”.
The research was carried by surveying regular Evangelical Alliance panel members and social media respondents. A total of 2,020 people were questioned in August and September 2014.