USA (MNN)– Despite the "separation of church and state" mindset in the United States, a recent survey
shows that one in two American Christians believe differently. Open Doors commissioned the study to try to
draw a bead on how they feel about religious freedom.
Open Doors' Carl Moeller says, "The
persecution of Christians in the world today is on the rise, with an estimated
100 million suffering some sort of repression and even death for their faith."
During this election season, this
issue is emerging with a unique view. The survey results show that the candidates for president cannot
overlook religious freedom. "The
American people, particularly Christians, find that it's important to them that
anyone campaigning for office right now take religious freedom issues into consideration
when formulating our public policy and our foreign policy."
However, according to Open Doors,
respondents did not believe that direct intervention should form our religious
freedom foreign policy. Instead, they
favored the U.S. using more indirect policies, such as economic sanctions (20
percent) and diplomatic measures to pressure persecuting regimes rather than
having the U.S. directly intervene.
Because Americans hold religious
freedom in high regard, they also hold other governments to the same
standards. When asked if this mindset was
a form of colonialism, Moeller disagreed.
Viewed in an evangelistic light,
he says it's an indication of what "religious freedom" is becoming. "We really support the Human Rights
Declaration of the United Nations, Article 18, of the Universal Declaration of
Human Rights, which calls for the freedom of people to believe and to change their belief–to convert–from one faith
(Wilson Research Strategies was
commissioned to conduct a research study of 1,000 Christian adults nationwide.
A sample of 1,000 has a margin of error of ±3.1 percent at the 95 percent
confidence level. The study was conducted by telephone May 27-29, 2008. This
sampling represents 72 percent of the United States population, which is equal
to roughly 150.5 million people who call themselves Christians. Christians in
this study were defined as people who believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of
God and that by believing that He died for their sins, they have eternal life.
All respondents were contacted via Random Digit Dialing methodology. The sample
was stratified by key demographics, including age, gender and area in order to
representatively measure the United States' Christian population at large.)