New Initiative Corrects Inaccurate 'Christian' Label

A new polling initiative by two leading Christian publishers seeks to recognize through its surveys the broad range of Christian opinions held by people of common faith.

The project,, follows a national research commissioned by Christianity Today International and Zondervan Publishers that found Americans have diverse definitions of their Christian identity.

The research found that up to 80 percent of Americans call themselves Christian but indicated that traditional nomenclature – including "evangelical" and "mainline" – is less accurate today in describing the Christian body which holds diverse views on theology, politics, and cultural issues.

Instead, what the report showed was that Christians can be almost evenly divided into five categories based on their views of God and Jesus, the Bible, the church as a center for personal spiritual development, their involvement in church leadership, and community life.

Thus the survey did not categorize respondents based on their association with a particular denomination, but on their beliefs and resulting behavior.

As a result, the new poll initiative developed more accurate categories: Active Christians, Professing Christians, Liturgical Christian, Private Christians, and Cultural Christians.

"The views of Christians are often reported as a bloc, but seeks to survey the range of Christians on many issues, and to report diverse opinions held by people of common faith," it stated. hopes to provide quick assessments of current events and breaking news.

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