Survey: Most View Christians to Be Complainers
A growing number of Americans believe that religious liberty is on the decline -- and that Christians complain too much.
Nashville-based LifeWay Research released the findings, based on its survey of 1,000 Americans in September 2013 and September 2015.
Sixty-three percent say Christians face increasing intolerance, compared with 50 percent in 2013. Likewise, 60 percent say religious liberty is on the decline compared with 54 percent in 2013.
Still, 43 percent say American Christians complain too much about how they're treated, compared to 34 percent in 2013.
The survey shows a divide among the opinions of Christians and others. Almost two-thirds of Christians say religious liberty is on the decline. Only 56 percent of Catholics and 46 percent of Nones (those who don't identify with any church or denomination) agree.
Age also plays a role in the view of religious liberty. Just 42 percent of those 18-24 say it's declining while six in 10 of those over 25 see a decline.
Non-Christians are also less likely to believe that Christians face intolerance. Just 43 percent of those from other faiths believe intolerance towards Christians has increased, compared to 70 percent of Christians.
The divide in views on tolerance and religious liberty creates a challenge for Christians, says LifeWay Research Executive Director Ed Stetzer.
"Most people now believe Christians are facing intolerance," he said. "However, a surprising large minority perceives Christians to be complainers."
"Both of those facts will matter as Christians profess and contend for their beliefs without sounding false alarms around faux controversies," he warned.