Political agendas of Evangelicals may be broadening - news from ekklesia

By staff writers
April 8, 2005

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Political agendas of Evangelicals may be broadening


There are signs that the political agendas of Evangelicals may be broadening in the UK beyond traditional 'moral' issues of sexuality, abortion and family policy, for which their campaigns are so well known.

In a major survey to gauge the political opinions of Evangelicals in the run up to the General Election an overwhelming majority signalled their desire to see political parties take action to end global poverty.

Of the two thousand Christians polled by the Evangelical Alliance at the recent Spring Harvest festival in both Skegness and Minehead, 60% said the top political issue on their mind at the moment was world poverty.

This was followed by education, the health service, and fears over religious liberty.

Only a small percentage viewed terrorism as a major political issue.

Those polled also made known their intention to vote in the upcoming election, indicating a higher than average turnout when compared to the wider population of the UK.

Eight out of ten said they planned to cast their vote and from this group half said they were active in their local communities, many serving as local councillors or school governors. Another seventeen per cent said they were actively involved in lobbying the Government on traditional evangelical issues such as gambling, religious freedom and the Keep Sunday Special campaign.

Predictably, other issues of concern to Evangelicals included abortion, more financial help for those who are married and have families, better and more effective teaching of the Christian faith in schools, political corruption and the need for integrity in public life.

Joel Edwards, General Director of the Evangelical Alliance said; "The figures indicate that Christians are keen to make a difference on the global stage and that many of them have taken to heart the message of the MAKEPOVERTYHISTORY campaign. They also show that Christians are planning to come out in force and vote at the forthcoming election and that many are in key positions in their locality to influence and make known the issues that matter to them."

The Rt Rev Pete Broadbent, Bishop of Willesden, and a member of the leadership team at Spring Harvest, described the survey as 'brilliant' and commented; "With 83% deciding to vote it is really encouraging to see Christians taking their responsibilities so seriously."

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