When pro-lifers speak out about their penchant for protecting the unborn it’s not uncommon for some of their pro-choice adversaries to accuse them of not doing enough to help women and young mothers who do choose to keep their babies.
There’s surely a viable debate over whether enough is, indeed, being done by pro-lifers to live out their commitment to life. And considering that a substantial portion of these people appear to be Christians, it makes sense that this discussion would extend beyond the conservative political realm and into the faith arena.
A new poll gives us a lens into this very issue, though, showing that substantial proportions of Protestant churchgoers are likely highly involved in doing more than merely offering platitudes about the protection of life. In fact, four-in-10 Protestants who attend church at least monthly told LifeWay Research that their congregation has been involved in either foster care or adoption over the past year.
The statistics to emerge from the poll are fascinating, with 25 percent of the 1,010 churchgoers surveyed who attend Protestant or nondenominational churches at least once monthly reporting that someone from their church was involved in foster care sometime over the past year. This statistic was 39 percent among those who attend nondenominational churches.
Meanwhile, 17 percent of overall respondents reported that someone from their church had adopted a child from the U.S. and 15 percent adopted internationally, with 25 percent of nondenominational church attendees reporting knowing someone who adopted the child from the U.S. This proportion was lower among Pentecostals (10 percent), Lutherans (12 percent) and Baptists (15 percent).
Scott McConnell, executive director of LifeWay Research, said in a statement that foster care seems to come naturally for Christians, noting that the “Bible commands them to care for widows and orphans.”
“There may be no greater expression of the Christian faith than extending hope and love to children whose birth families are not able to able to care for them,” he said.
With that in mind, despite the encouraging numbers that do seem to fly in the face of some pro-choice narratives about those who oppose abortion, churches can and should do more.
And, as the statistics show, not every church is sufficiently speaking out on these issues.
Only 14 percent of churchgoers said that pastors and church leaders have encouraged adoption, with 12 percent saying the same about foster care. And only 6 percent report training being offered to foster parents, with a total of 45 percent saying that their church isn’t involved with or having conversations about foster care and adoption.
While a lot of work is still to be done, it’s clear that scores of Christians are living out their commitment to life in the most practical and impactful of ways.
(H/T: LifeWay Research)