People of faith see the world differently. We know that but the survey documents it.
Why is that?
My answer is Jesus. Jesus makes a difference in our lives.
When it comes to faith, evangelicals stand out from national norms. Overall, only 29 percent of evangelicals believe police unfairly target people of color. All other faith segments in America stand in contrast to this—with half or more believing this to be the case, including non-evangelical born again Christians (49%), notional Christians (50%), adherents to other faiths (59%), and those who are atheists and agnostics (67%).
When it comes to matters of faith engagement, practicing Christians are about as likely as unchurched adults (48% versus 54%, respectively) to believe police unfairly target minorities.
Overall, about 12% of evangelicals say they personally feel threatened by police, which is about half the rate of those from other faith groups or those who align with no faith.
Looking at the differences between white born again Christians versus non-white born again Christians, the differences are rather striking. Only one-quarter of white born-again adults (24%) believe police unfairly target people of color, compared to more than eight in 10 (82%) non-white born again adults. It’s a similar story when it comes to living in fear of police brutality (5% of white born-again compared to 34% of non-white born again Christians).
David Kinnaman, president of Barna and director of the study, says, “These findings represent a challenging reality for evangelicals and their leaders. Huge gaps exist between most evangelicals and tens of millions of Americans—gaps in perception about the extent and proximity of prejudicial law enforcement. The different levels of opinion help to explain why people feel such varying states of urgency about the issue. To help evangelicals grapple with the problems of implicit racial bias, Christian leaders must come to realize how deeply and personally experienced these problems are for so many in society and in the church.”