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Who Is Evangelical? 4 Views

U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump (R) shakes hands with co-headliner Jerry Falwell Jr., leader of the nation’s largest Christian university, during a campaign event at the Orpheum Theatre in Sioux City, Iowa January 31, 2016.
U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump (R) shakes hands with co-headliner Jerry Falwell Jr., leader of the nation’s largest Christian university, during a campaign event at the Orpheum Theatre in Sioux City, Iowa January 31, 2016. | (Photo: REUTERS/Dave Kaup)

Over the past couple of years, there has been an extensive debate over the definition of "evangelical" and who it does and does not apply to.

The rise of Donald Trump first as a candidate and then as president has exacerbated this question, as many wonder how so many self-identified evangelical Christians could support a politician who differs from them on many issues.

Here are four perspectives offered up on how to define what an evangelical is, as well as cautions on generalizing this large religious community.

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