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The changing face of Congress in 6 charts

Pew Research - 15 hours 24 min ago

Apart from its political makeup and policy objectives, the new Congress differs from prior ones in other ways, including its demographics.

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More people around the world see U.S. power and influence as a ‘major threat’ to their country

Pew Research - Fri, 15/02/2019 - 6:08am

A growing share of people globally see U.S. power and influence as a major threat to their country. Views are linked with attitudes toward Trump and the U.S. as a whole.

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Millennial life: How young adulthood today compares with prior generations

Pew Research - Fri, 15/02/2019 - 5:42am

Generally better educated and more racially and ethnically diverse, Millennials have also been slower to marry and form their own households than previous generations of young adults.

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8 facts about love and marriage in America

Pew Research - Thu, 14/02/2019 - 9:00am

The landscape of relationships in America has shifted dramatically in recent decades. Read eight facts about love and marriage in the country.

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Pastors Optimistic About Church’s Future, Regardless of Past Struggles

Lifeway Research - Thu, 14/02/2019 - 4:50am

By Timothy C. Morgan

NASHVILLE, Tenn.—Pastors are eager to reach the next generation for Christ as well as growing the size, diversity and level of discipleship within their congregations, according to a new survey of 1,000 Protestant pastors by Nashville-based LifeWay Research.

“Pastors are thinking about reaching the next generation. That becomes a top concern for 4 out of 10,” said Scott McConnell, executive director of LifeWay Research. “The other sizable concern would be the lack of discipleship in the congregation.”

The 2019 Future of the Church Study by Facts & Trends and LifeWay Research is based on a survey of Protestant pastors, examining their views on the future of their congregations. Results of the study are explored in the Winter 2019 issue of Facts & Trends available at FactsAndTrends.net/FutureChurch.

Looking toward to the future, many pastors anticipate numerical growth of their congregations, increased ethnic diversity, more leadership roles for women, and robust community engagement by church members.

The survey found 79 percent of pastors say weekly worship attendance at their church will increase in the next five years. But looking at the last five years, only 36 percent of pastors say worship attendance growth increased, while two-thirds say attendance stayed the same or declined (27 percent decreased, 37 percent stayed the same).

Pastors more likely to say worship attendance grew in the past five years include those from ethnicities other than white or African American (50 percent), those pastors aged 18 to 54 (41 percent), Baptists (41 percent), those leading a congregation of 250 or more in worship (56 percent) and those minister­ing in a western state (43 percent).

“There is a sharp contrast between how many pastors think their churches are going to grow and how few are actually growing.” McConnell asked. “We have one-third with worship attendance growing and 79 percent who say it’s going to grow in the next five years.

“Logically how do you put that together? What’s going to change at the church for that to happen? Pastors are saying, ‘If we reach the next generation, we can do this.’”

Looking five years out, anticipation for growth in worship attendance is strongest among pastors ages 45 to 54 (85 percent), evangelicals (85 percent), Pentecostals (94 percent) and pastors with worship attendance of 250 or more (91 percent).

Young adult attendance

The Future of the Church survey asked pastors if attendance by 18- to 29-year-olds in the past five years increased, decreased or stayed the same at their church. Almost a third (32 percent) say attendance of young adults increased, while 29 percent say attendance decreased and 39 percent say it stayed the same.

Researchers found answers varied among pastors when it came to age, denomination and church size.

Pastors age 18-44 (43 percent) are more likely to select “increased” than those 55-64 (27 percent) and 65 and older (25 percent).

Baptist (40 percent) and Holiness (43 percent) pastors are more likely to select “increased” than Lutherans (24 percent), Methodists (16 percent) and Presbyterian/Reformed (28 percent).

Pastors of churches with attendance of 250 or greater are the most likely to select “increased” (50 percent) followed by those with an attendance of 100-249 (36 percent), 50-99 (30 percent) and 0-49 (20 percent).

When asked about worship attendance by 18- to 29-year-olds in the next five years, more than 7 in 10 (72 percent) pastors say they expect to see growth. A quarter say they expect attendance of young adults to stay the same while 4 percent expect a decrease.

Pastors most likely to select “will increase” include African American pastors (89 percent) and pastors of churches with worship attendance of 250 and higher (85 percent).

“Similar to overall worship attendance, we see more than twice as many pastors thinking they are going to increase worship attendance of young adults than have actually seen that in the last five years,” McConnell said. “Again, there is a huge amount of optimism there. And yet, you have to ask what needs to change to actually see that increase happen?”

Diversity

A recent development in Protestant churches is the growth of ethnic diversity among worship attendees and leaders who are women or people of color.

A third of pastors told LifeWay Research the ethnic diversity of worship attendees at their church grew the last five years. Sixty-two percent say it stayed the same and 4 percent say ethnic diversity decreased. Looking toward the next five years, a majority of pastors (62 percent) say the ethnic diversity of worship attendees will increase.

When LifeWay Research asked pastors about the ethnic diversity of leaders in the next five years, half of pastors (52 percent) say ethnic diversity will increase and half (48 percent) say it will stay the same. Less than 1 percent say it will decrease.

In a similar question about women in leadership roles, almost half of pastors (47 percent) say they saw an increase of women in leadership roles the last five years. Another 52 percent say women in leadership roles stayed the same. Looking to the next five years, 42 percent pastors say women in leadership roles will increase, 2 percent say it will decrease, and 56 percent say it will stay the same.

“To see that women in leadership of some kind is growing is pretty telling,” McConnell says. “That has to impact the church cul­turally. For women, the message they’re hearing is about their value and role in Kingdom work.

Other findings

Researchers also asked pastors about community ministry and denominational involvement. Among those findings:

  • 64 percent say ministry in their community increased the last five years at their church compared to 4 percent who say it decreased and 32 percent who say it stayed the same.
  • 85 percent say ministry in their community will increase the next five years, while 1 percent say it will decrease and 15 percent say it will stay the same.
  • 28 percent say denominational involvement at their church increased the last five years compared to 10 percent who say it decreased and 62 percent who say it stayed the same.
  • 32 percent say denominational involvement will increase in the next five years, while 6 percent say it will decrease and 62 percent say it will stay the same.

Timothy C. Morgan is the director of the Journalism Certificate Program at Wheaton College in Illinois.

Methodology:
LifeWay Research conducted The Future of the Church Study for Facts & Trends. The phone survey of 1,000 Protestant pastors was conducted June 19 – July 2, 2018. The calling list was a stratified random sample, drawn from a list of all Protestant churches. Quotas were used for church size. Each interview was conducted with the senior pastor, minister or priest of the church called. Responses were weighted by region to more accurately reflect the population. The sample provides 95 percent confidence that the sampling error does not exceed plus or minus 3.2 percent. Margins of error are higher in sub-groups.

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7 things we’ve learned about computer algorithms

Pew Research - Thu, 14/02/2019 - 1:00am

Pew Research Center released several reports in 2018 that explored the role and meaning of algorithms in people’s lives today.

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As elections near, Nigerians view their country’s economy and political system negatively

Pew Research - Wed, 13/02/2019 - 6:31am

Many Nigerians are dissatisfied with Nigeria's democracy and are skeptical about its political and judicial systems. Over half describe the economy as bad.

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Once a majority, Protestants now account for fewer than a third of Germans

Pew Research - Wed, 13/02/2019 - 1:00am

Germany has seen a dramatic shift away from Protestantism – one that has greatly outpaced a decline in the share of Germans who are Catholic.

The post Once a majority, Protestants now account for fewer than a third of Germans appeared first on Pew Research Center.

For Darwin Day, 6 facts about the evolution debate

Pew Research - Tue, 12/02/2019 - 7:00am

Tuesday is the 210th anniversary of Charles Darwin’s birth. Roughly eight-in-ten U.S. adults say humans have evolved over time.

The post For Darwin Day, 6 facts about the evolution debate appeared first on Pew Research Center.

About a third of Americans say blackface in a Halloween costume is acceptable at least sometimes

Pew Research - Tue, 12/02/2019 - 1:00am

While a slight majority of Americans think it is generally unacceptable to use blackface in a Halloween costume, about one-in-three say it is acceptable at least sometimes.

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Climate Change Still Seen as the Top Global Threat, but Cyberattacks a Rising Concern

Pew Research - Mon, 11/02/2019 - 11:55am

People around the world agree that climate change poses a severe risk to their countries, according to a 26-nation survey conducted in spring 2018. Terrorism, specifically from ISIS, and cyberattacks are also seen by many as major security threats.

The post Climate Change Still Seen as the Top Global Threat, but Cyberattacks a Rising Concern appeared first on Pew Research Center.

Climate change is seen by more countries as a top international threat

Pew Research - Mon, 11/02/2019 - 11:55am

More countries see climate change as a top international threat, but many people also name ISIS and cyberattacks as their top security concern.

The post Climate change is seen by more countries as a top international threat appeared first on Pew Research Center.

For the fifth time in a row, the new Congress is the most racially and ethnically diverse ever

Pew Research - Sat, 09/02/2019 - 1:00am

More than one-in-five voting members of the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate are racial or ethnic minorities.

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More Republicans say stricter environmental regulations are ‘worth the cost’

Pew Research - Fri, 08/02/2019 - 8:30am

Since 2017, the share of Republicans who take a positive view of stricter environmental laws has increased, from 36% then to 45% today.

The post More Republicans say stricter environmental regulations are ‘worth the cost’ appeared first on Pew Research Center.

Phone vs. online surveys: Why do respondents’ answers sometimes differ by mode?

Pew Research - Fri, 08/02/2019 - 4:00am

Pew Research Center conducts surveys over the phone and, increasingly, online. But these two formats don’t always produce identical results.

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Why we studied the possible links between religion and happiness, health and civic engagement

Pew Research - Thu, 07/02/2019 - 7:01am

Conrad Hackett, associate director for research and senior demographer, discusses why we studied the relationship between religion and happiness, health and civic engagement.

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Darwin in America

Pew Research - Thu, 07/02/2019 - 4:17am

Almost 160 years after Charles Darwin publicized his groundbreaking theory on the development of life, Americans are still arguing about evolution.

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