Younger evangelicals are leaving their faith over its pro-Trump fervor: report

There's a small but growing contingent of young evangelical Christians who are abandoning their religious communities due to their pro-Trump politics, reflecting a 2020 study that showed a sharp drop of people who identify as white evangelicals, NBC News reports.

In an October blog post, theologian Russell Moore wrote: “Many of us have observed, anecdotally, a hemorrhaging of younger evangelicals from churches and institutions in recent years.” The problem, he said, is “many have come to believe that the religion itself is a vehicle for the politics and cultural grievances, not the other way around.”

Jared Stacy, 31, who abandoned his job as a youth pastor after being disillusioned with the increasingly pro-Trump nature of his community, told NBC News that there are people "who say evangelical support for Trump is inevitable based on who we’ve been in our history."

“The question that stuck in my shoe was ‘Is it really inevitable?’” he said.

Kristin Du Mez, a professor of history at Calvin University in Grand Rapids, Michigan, says that many religious communities today are doing much more than spreading the Gospel.

“I’ve been told many times from people who attend highly politicized churches that nothing political happens inside those spaces,” she said. “They say, ‘We come, we worship.’ But then I attend and I hear prayers against the evils of big government.”

Chris Sosa, 32, says his church was not shy about mixing politics and religion even its website has a section which says, “Church and state should be separate.”

“I was taught that anyone who said they were separate just hated America,” he said.

Some evangelical leaders have attempted to distance themselves from Trump.

"As an evangelical, I’ve found the last five years to be shocking, disorienting and deeply disheartening,” Tim Dalrymple, the president of Christianity Today, told the New York Times. "One of the most surprising elements is that I’ve realized that the people who I used to stand shoulder to shoulder with on almost every issue, I now realize that we are separated by a yawning chasm of mutual incomprehension. I would never have thought that could have happened so quickly"

But others, such as Pastor Robert Jeffress of First Baptist Church, are sticking with the former president.

“I think people think evangelicals have been duped by President Trump," he told Politico. "Evangelicals are not morons. They understand that he might not pray six hours a day or be able to quote the Bible backward and forward but they do believe he’s a man who loves our country and he’s embraced policies that are in keeping with the truth of God’s word and that’s why they selected him."