At its most basic level, evangelical Christianity is characterized by a belief in the literal truth of the Bible, a “personal relationship with Jesus Christ,” the importance of encouraging others to be “born again” in Jesus and a lively worship culture. This characterization is true regardless the size of the church, what the people sitting in the pews look like or how they express their beliefs. Evangelical institutions include not only churches but also primary schools and universities, large and small non-profit organizations, media companies and several political groups.
Though its history in America is much longer, Evangelicalism began to significantly influence American politics and culture in the 1970s, culminating with the Reagan Revolution and the rise of the Religious Right. Today its influence continues to extend well beyond its own religious orbit. In Southern California, we are watching how both megachurches and small communities of young evangelicals are adapting to new social and cultural challenges.
- ArticleEvangelicals Versus Oil: Environmental Justice in South Los AngelesThis article originally appeared in the June 2018 issue of Sojourners magazine. Sentinel Peak Resources recently announced its intention to abandon petroleum production at its Jefferson Boulevard site. The families arrived early …Topics: Community Organizing, Environment, Evangelicals and Evangelicalism, Southern California
- CommentaryLA-Times Op-Ed: The Leaner, and Arguably Meaner, Evangelical ChurchBrie Loskota and Rebecca Sager published on Op-Ed in the Los Angeles Times on May 31, 2018. Franklin Graham, the evangelical preacher and son of Billy Graham, is in the midst of …Topics: Christians and Christianity, Evangelicals and Evangelicalism, Government and Religion, Political Attitudes and Values, Religious "Nones"
- CRCC in the NewsForward: Richard Flory on The Jerusalem Embassy CeremonyWhile the opening of the new U.S. embassy in Jerusalem is a political victory for Trump, it is a religious victory for evangelicals. Trump appealed to this group of evangelicals—a group who …Topics: Catholics and Catholicism, Christians and Christianity, Evangelicals and Evangelicalism, Government and Religion, International Affairs and Policy, Megachurches, Political Attitudes and Values, Voting and Elections
- CRCC in the NewsNBC: Richard Flory on Bringing Environmentalism to EvangelicalsThe thought of climate change as a major issue has often been dismissed by many white evangelicals. Oftentimes evangelicals see climate change running counter to their strict interpretations of theology. However, some …Topics: Christians and Christianity, Evangelicals and Evangelicalism, Political Attitudes and Values, Population Trends, Religious Beliefs and Rituals
- CRCC in the NewsBilly Graham Coverage: Richard Flory on Evangelical PoliticsThe death of “America’s pastor” Billy Graham at age 99 has brought reflection on the politics of American evangelicalism. Richard Flory, CRCC’s senior director of research and evaluation, spoke with FiveThirtyEight and Congressional Quarterly …Topics: Evangelicals and Evangelicalism, Religious Leadership
- CRCC in the NewsBilly Graham Coverage: Richard Flory on the Business of EvangelicalismBilly Graham left a legacy in the evangelical world not only in terms of his preaching, but also in terms of the organizations he founded or inspired. Following his death on February …Topics: Evangelicals and Evangelicalism, Religious Leadership
- CommentaryEvangelicalism Is *Still* in Crisis – An Update on 2017 Trends to WatchIn our 2017 religion trends to watch, one of our snarky headlines read: “New Species of Evangelicals Discovered.” As we pointed out under the headline, the divisions in Evangelicalism have long existed. …Topics: Christians and Christianity, Evangelicals and Evangelicalism, Political Attitudes and Values
- CRCC in the NewsUSA Today: Evangelicals’ Victories and Defeats in Trump’s First YearConservative Christians have had unprecedented access to the White House and won many political victories under the first year of Donald Trump’s presidency, USA Today reported. At the same time, they may …Topics: Evangelicals and Evangelicalism, Government and Religion, Political Attitudes and Values, Voting and Elections
- CommentaryHow California’s Megachurches Changed Christian CultureThis article was originally published on The Conversation. The popular view of California is of a liberal, godless region, a land of possibilities that is open to experimentation in all things. As …Topics: Branding and Marketing, Christians and Christianity, Creativity and Innovation, Evangelicals and Evangelicalism, Megachurches, Southern California
- CRCC in the NewsHaaretz: Young Evangelicals Less Supportive of IsraelYoung evangelical Americans are increasingly diverging from their elders’ support for Israel, Haaretz reported about a new survey. Richard Flory, CRCC’s director of research and evaluation, explained in the article that the generational …Topics: Christians and Christianity, Evangelicals and Evangelicalism, International Affairs and Policy, Middle East and North Africa, Political Attitudes and Values
- VideoReimagining Religion Conference: The Future of Religion in Los Angeles
- CRCC in the NewsThe New York Times: The Creation of a Modern MegachurchIn a few years, Zerephath Christian Church in New Jersey has transformed from the dwindling base of a little-known denomination to a large megachurch. The New York Times reported on this transition, turning to CRCC’s …Topics: Branding and Marketing, Christians and Christianity, Creativity and Innovation, Evangelicals and Evangelicalism, Megachurches, Multi-ethnic / Multi-racial Congregations
“Is this the end of evangelicalism? If the term refers to the form of conservative American Protestant Christianity dominated by white men in large churches that has had a significant sociopolitical impact—particularly in the Republican Party—over the past 30 years, then probably yes.”
“Is American Evangelicalism Really Disappearing?”
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- Brad ChristersonContributing FellowBrad Christenson is a sociologist who has written extensively in the areas of religion, race, ethnicity, and globalization.
- Samuel ChuContributing FellowSamuel Chu is a seasoned community organizer and strategist who works at the intersection of faith and public policy.
- Richard FlorySenior Director of Research and EvaluationRichard Flory is a sociologist whose work focuses on religion and urban life, religious and cultural change, and youth and young adults.
- Andrew JohnsonContributing FellowAndrew Johnson is a sociologist who studies religion on the margins of society, with specific interests in religious practice inside of prison, Latin American Pentecostalism and religion in the city.
- Donald E. MillerDirector of Strategic InitiativesDonald Miller focuses on global religious trends, genocides of the 20th century, and the role of religious NGOs in addressing issues of moral concern.
- Jonathan RussellContributing FellowJonnie Russell is a scholar engaging religion, philosophy and politics, and a chaplain working for social justice on Skid Row in downtown Los Angeles.
- Nick StreetSenior WriterNick Street is a journalist covering religious change and innovation, Buddhism, Pentecostalism and LGBT issues.
- Diane WinstonUniversity FellowAs a journalist and scholar, Diane Winston is a national authority on religion, politics, the news media and entertainment.
- Tetsunao YamamoriContributing FellowTetsunao Yamamori is a sociologist with expertise in global Pentecostalism.