Despite Opposition, Christians Believe in Their Purpose
Despite living in an era of anti-religious sentiments and secularism, Christians are positive about their place in society, according to new research from the Barna Group.
In research for David Kinnaman's new book Good Faith, Barna examined how people of faith are feeling in today's culture.
The research found many believe they are misunderstood, persecuted, and marginalized. However, at the same time, most believe their faith is not only crucial, but also "a force for good in today's world."
The research involved polling the broadest segment of practicing Christians, including Catholics, evangelicals, and mainline churchgoers. Fifty-four percent say they feel misunderstood when it comes to living out their faith in the world today, while 52 percent say they feel persecuted.
The report on people of faith also found that 44 percent feel marginalized; 38 percent feel silenced, 31 percent are afraid to speak up and 23 percent are afraid to look stupid.
Nevertheless, according to the report, the majority of people of faith believe their faith is "a force for good" and "a primarily positive contribution to society."
A whopping 98 percent of evangelicals call their faith a force for good, and 93 percent "believe they are essential."
Barna reports, "even the lowest percentage among each faith segment represented here who believe their faith is a force for good is nearly nine in 10 [88 percent].