Unlike most Americans, evangelical Christians do not believe that law enforcement treats minorities unfairly, new research by The Barna Group has found.
“Overall, only 29 percent of evangelicals believe police unfairly target people of color,” the Christian research organization said in the study titled “Americans’ Views of Police Brutality,” which was released Thursday. “All other faith segments in America stand in contrast to this — with half or more believing this to be the case.”
Overall, 48 percent of practicing Christians believe this inequity exists, compared to 54 percent of adults who do not attend church, Barna found.
The group also found striking differences in attitudes on racial bias in policing between whites and non-whites who describe themselves as born-again Christians. The survey reported that, 82 percent of non-whites believe police unfairly target minorities, compared to 24 percent of whites.
Among white Americans in general, 14 percent are convinced police act unfairly toward minorities, compared to 40 percent of non-whites.
“Black Americans are the most likely to strongly agree (53 percent)” that racial bias exists in policing, Barna found.
Other sub-groups that came in higher than whites in general were Millennials (35 percent), liberals (34 percent), Democrats (31 percent), parents with children (31 percent) and unmarried adults (29 percent).
“These findings represent a challenging reality for evangelicals and their leaders,” Barna president and study director David Kinnaman said in the survey summary. “Huge gaps exist between most evangelicals and tens of millions of Americans — gaps in perception about the extent and proximity of predujicial law enforcement.”