About two-thirds of Protestant pastors say there is “a growing sense of fear” in their congregations about the future, according to a report from Lifeway Research.
The study found that 69 percent of Protestant pastors said they “believe there is a growing sense of fear within their congregations about the future of the nation and world.”
Some 63 percent of surveyed Protestant pastors reported that their churches also have “a similar increasing dread specifically about the future of Christianity in the U.S. and around the world,” The Christian Post reports.
In 2010, 76 percent of Protestant pastors said they had a “growing sense of fear,” while in 2014, 74 percent said the same.
“The number of people in America embracing the Christian faith is on a downward trajectory. So it isn’t surprising congregations are afraid of this trendline,” said Scott McConnell, executive director of Lifeway Research. “Unfortunately, the growth of Christianity in other parts of the world is not bringing American Christians much comfort.”
The survey also found that among white pastors, some 64 percent of White pastors “saw fear” in their congregation, and just 47 percent of African American pastors said the same.
Among specific denominations, 76 percent of nondenominational pastors reported fear about the future of Christianity in their churches. Among Baptists, that number was 68 percent, Methodists (66 percent), and Presbyterian/Reformed pastors (49 percent).
“One of the most terrible weapons that the devil uses against Christians is the weapon of fear,” argued Oscar Amaechina, president of Afri-Mission and Evangelism Network, in an op-ed piece for The Christian Post published last year.
“He harps on circumstances and situations to create fear in the lives of Christians. It is natural for humans to respond to external stimuli through fear, which is why the devil capitalizes on this to make faulty evidences appear real.”
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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.