The Coming Evangelical Recession?

The Coming Evangelical Recession? December 19, 2012

Whereas America is focused on its fiscal cliff and the possibility of an economic recession, over in a NT Times piece, John Dickerson predicts the coming Evangelical Recession in America.

IT hasn’t been a good year for evangelicals. I should know. I’m one of them. In 2012 we witnessed a collapse in American evangelicalism. The old religious right largely failed to affect the Republican primaries, much less the presidential election. Last month, Americans voted in favor of same-sex marriage in four states, while Florida voters rejected an amendment to restrict abortion. Much has been said about conservative Christians and their need to retool politically. But that is a smaller story, riding on the back of a larger reality: Evangelicalism as we knew it in the 20th century is disintegrating.

Is this obituary a tad premature, or is the writing on the wall for evangelicals as a political force?

It is worth noting, however, that in countries like Brazil, the influence of evangelicals is increasing!

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  • editor

    Only if you identify ‘evangelical’ with a particular set of political tick-boxes which owe more to sociology than theology…

  • Caio Peres

    I’m brazilian and the influence evangelicals have in politcs and culture here is not really happening. Don’t get me wrong, evangelicals are increasing in number even if you consider “real” evangelicals and not only those who say they are. But it’s difficult to see positive christian values modelling politics and culture around here. The goverment is going in the same secular direction as other “western” countries. The culture is also more and more consumerist and the gap between rich and poor is increasing like never before. But maybe the increase in number is a good preparation for a future when brazilian evangelicals will make a real difference in society. I’m getting prepared for that.

  • MarieP

    Another interesting statistic: According to Operation World, 14 countries have a higher percentage of evangelicals than the United States. Only 29 countries have a slower evangelical population growth than the United States (a number of the countries listed as the fastest growing are also on the list of the least number of evangelicals, so this statistic *may* be somewhat skewed).

    http://www.operationworld.org/hidden/evangelical-population
    http://www.operationworld.org/hidden/evangelical-growth

    I’m thankful the evangel is global, and its success is not tied to its current condition in a particular country at a given point in time! As much as I’m thankful for the opportunities God’s given Evangelicals in the U. S., being American isn’t part of what it means to be Evangelical (you don’t even need a church council to tell you that!) As hard as it is to imagine, I don’t think the majority of people on the New Earth will be white, much less American…