HDC’s recent Survey Monkey poll regarding Christians and Refugees had a total of 85 respondents. We left the poll open for one week and posted it on HDC’s website, Facebook page (facebook.com/hdccrc) and provided a link to it on our Twitter account (twitter.com/HDCCRC). The diagrams that follow provide a summary of the responses to each question from HDC’s poll.
Following the results of HDC’s poll are some results from a similar survey conducted by Lifeway Research in January 2016. Results from both surveys appear to indicate that a large majority of Christians believe they have a responsibility to care sacrificially for refugees and foreigners.
While respondents to HDC’s poll indicated a higher percentage of churches currently involved with caring for refugees than were indicated by respondents to the Lifeway Research survey (see below), this is possibly due to multiple responders belonging to the same church. It does not necessarily indicate a greater percentage of churches involved in caring for refugees than respondents to Lifeway’s survey indicated.
In January 2016, Lifeway Research also conducted a survey of 1,000 Protestant pastors about Christians and refugees. The first two questions in HDC’s poll were taken directly from two of the questions used by Lifeway in their survey. Below are the responses from pastors to these questions from the Lifeway survey. (The full report of this survey is available here.)
Additionally, Lifeway discovered that pastors from different denominations disagree about how to respond to refugees. Here are the findings they reported about this:
Most Presbyterian (96 percent), Lutheran (85 percent) and Methodist (85 percent) pastors see caring for refugees as a privilege. Baptists (77 percent) and Pentecostals (68 percent) are less certain. Pentecostals (42 percent) are skeptical the U.S. can balance compassion and national security. Presbyterians (93 percent), Lutherans (73 percent), and Methodists (76 percent) are more confident.
Around half of Baptist (56 percent) and Pentecostal (50 percent) pastors say there’s a sense of fear in their church about refugees coming to the U.S. So do a third of Lutherans (33 percent) and about 3 in 10 Presbyterians (29 percent).
White pastors (46 percent) are most likely to say their congregations are fearful of refugees than pastors of other ethnicities (33 percent). They are also more likely to have discussed the Syrian refugee crisis from the pulpit (37 percent) than other pastors.
More churches may get involved with helping refugees in the future, according to LifeWay Research.
Nine percent of pastors say their churches want to get involved in helping refugees locally. A similar number (10 percent) wants to assist refugees overseas.
“This important research affirms that church leaders broadly agree our faith compels us to care sacrificially for refugees, but also finds that relatively few congregations are actively engaged in doing so,” said Stephan Bauman, president of World Relief.
Interested in knowing more or in knowing what you and your church can do to care for refugees? Both World Renew of the Christian Reformed Church and World Relief of the National Association of Evangelicals are excellent sources of information and resources.