Two recent surveys published by the Pew Research Center reveal that evangelicals face some challenges in their efforts at engaging their multi-faith neighbors.
The first comes by way of the results of "Americans Express Increasingly Warm Feelings Toward Religious Groups." The title sounds promising as it presents an update over a previous survey, and notes that overall, Americans are feeling more positive about various religious groups, including Muslims. However, the news is not so positive for evangelicals. As the chart above demonstrates, white evangelicals continue to hold cooler emotions toward other religions, Islam in particular. In addition, while American attitudes toward other religions have warmed up, they have not done so toward evangelicals. This reveals that our attitudes toward other religions inhibits our ability to understand and engagement them, and it also presents a barrier toward perceptions other Americans have about us.
The second piece of Pew survey data makes sense in light of the first, and evangelical attitudes toward Muslims. As indicated in the graph above, 76% of white evangelicals approve of Trump's executive order that attempted to limit Muslim refugee entrance into the country.
In many previous emails and blog posts I've argued that evangelicals need to be as concerned about orthopathy, having the right emotions toward others, as we are about our right beliefs (orthodoxy) and right practices (orthopraxy). Survey data provided by the Pew Forum suggests that we have a ways to go in developing our orthopathy, particularly in connection with Muslims and members of other religious communities.