Evangelicals in the United States are more likely than non-evangelicals to trust their neighbors and to know their neighbors’ names, according to a new Lifeway Research survey.
The poll of 1,200 Americans found that 76 percent of evangelicals but 66 percent of non-evangelicals in the U.S. say they trust the people who live in their community. On another topic, 67 percent of evangelicals but 57 percent of non-evangelicals say they know the names of their neighbors.
More than two-thirds (69 percent) of evangelicals say they look for opportunities to talk to their neighbors. Among non-evangelicals, it is 54 percent.
For the survey, an evangelical was someone who said they strongly agreed with four orthodox statements about the Bible and Christ.
“Remembering the names of people you meet is the first sign that you care about them,” said Scott McConnell, executive director of Lifeway Research. “For Christians, caring can also include praying for those individuals by name and for their relationship with God.”
Among the religiously unaffiliated, 60 percent say they trust their neighbors.
Overall, though, most Americans say they trust their neighbors and know their neighbors’ names, indicating that the nation is not as divided as is often claimed.
Two-thirds (68 percent) of Americans say they trust the people in their community, while 59 percent say they know their neighbors’ names. Another 57 percent of Americans say they look for opportunities to talk to their neighbors.
“Trust is the basis of a peaceful society,” McConnell said. “It’s a hopeful sign that amid months of distancing and political unrest, more than two-thirds of Americans trust those in their community.”
Even though evangelicals are likely to have conversations with their neighbors, McConnell said those conversations are not necessarily spiritual in nature.
“Despite a greater interest in talking with neighbors among Christians who frequently attend church, a Lifeway Research study before COVID revealed that these conversations do not always include faith,” McConnell said. “In fact, 55 percent of Protestant churchgoers had not shared with anyone how to become a Christian in the previous six months.”
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/JackF
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.