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New Polls Reveals 5 Kinds of Christians

by Eric Reed, Nov 6, 2007

CAROL STREAM, ILLINOIS, November 6, 2007 — Up to 80 percent of Americans call themselves Christian, but their definition of the term varies widely.

These diverse approaches to faith are taken among American adults who identify themselves as Christian. The research indicates that traditional nomenclature–including ‘evangelical’ and ‘mainline’ is less accurate today as Christians take an eclectic approach to theology, politics, and culture.

While evangelical, mainline, and Catholic adherents were more prevalent in some categories, the diversity of denominations represented in the categories demanded that new names be developed to identify both the beliefs and behaviors of respondents. Unlike other studies, this survey did not categorize respondents based on their association with a particular denomination, but on their beliefs and resulting behaviors.

This research shows that self-identified Christians can be almost evenly divided into five categories based on their views of God and Jesus, the Bible, the church as a center for personal spiritual development, their involvement in church leadership, and community life.

The new categories are Active Christians, Professing Christians, Liturgical Christians, Private Christians, and Cultural Christians. They represent a broad range of opinion on key elements of Christian faith and practice. A detailed report appears in Leadership journal, a professional magazine for church leaders published by Christianity Today International, and is available online (

Following up this research by Christianity Today International and Zondervan Publishers, a new polling initiative has been launched to gauge the opinion of a broad range of Christians on theology, politics, and cultural issues in the United States. It is called, and polling participants are being recruited now.

This research prompts a new polling initiative, The views of Christians are often reported as a bloc, but seeks to survey the range of Christians on many issues, and to report diverse opinions held by people of common faith.

The polling will provide quick assessments of current events and breaking news.

CONTACT: Eric Reed
Phone: (630) 260-6200 x4371
Address: Christianity Today International, 465 Gundersen Drive, Carol Stream, IL 60188

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