The Economist – What is an evangelical Christian?

„EVANGELICAL CHRISTIANS have long been involved in American politics, but they gained national prominence in 1976. Newsweek declared it “the year of the evangelical” in a cover story; the group threw their support behind the conspicuously pious, Democratic candidate, Jimmy Carter, who described himself as a “born-again Christian” and was then the governor of Georgia. Four years later, evangelicals switched parties to back his Republican opponent, Ronald Reagan, preferring the former governor of California’s political conservatism to Mr Carter’s religious bona fides. Since then, white evangelicals have established themselves as America’s most cohesive and influential religious voting bloc. While mainline Protestant denominations have declined in both influence and numbers, and Catholics have split their vote between the two parties, white evangelicals have become the bedrock of the Republican Party. After insisting throughout the 1990s that character mattered, and that Bill Clinton was morally unfit for the presidency, they threw their support behind Donald Trump, a thrice-married rake. So what do evangelical Christians really believe?”

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