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U.S. Church Attendance and Giving Down - 2019
by Sim Lee
7/06/2019 / Christian Living
"People ask, how can a person abuse a child? I ask, how can so many 'good' people not do anything about it?" .. Adrianne Simeone
The 2019 Sexual Misconduct and Churchgoers Study conducted by LifeWay Research (The online survey of 1,815 Americans was conducted Feb. 27 to April 8, 2019) concludes that fewer Protestants (only one out of every three) still think that there is much more sexual abuse of children in the church by clergy still to be revealed.
Although they feel better today about their churches and pastors, nearly half of the Protestants (44%) say they have been victims of sexual misconduct, with 12 percent of them saying that it had occurred at church.
"Perceptions are reality," said Scott McConnell of LifeWay Research. "When almost a third of churchgoers sense there is an avalanche of abuse and assault cases coming, Protestant churches must address this head-on". Some members have decreased attendance and giving because of the additional sexuao abuse reveled iin just the past year, but very few have actually quit attending.
In similar studies concerning how Catholics are reacting to the sexual abuse scandals within their churches, approximately 25 percent are atttending Mass less in reaction to the situation and that 19% are giving less. Like the Protestants, very few are departing entirely from their churches.
It takes a long time to heal and an even longer time to build back the people's trust. For the U.S.clergy, time will tell.
*"Churchgoers Split on Existence of More Sexual Abuse by Pastors" By Aaron Earls, Lifeway Research May 21, 2019
Sim Lee is a retired NE Iowan who loves all of God's creatures.
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