Slightly over half of evangelical leaders (55 percent) say that their church, denomination or organization has encouraged or will encourage participation in the 2020 Census, according to the May Evangelical Leaders Survey.
“Census data impact decisions at the national, state, tribal and local levels — from congressional representation to the allocation of billions of dollars,” said Walter Kim, president of the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE). “A full count helps distribute resources more equitably, which is why many churches, denominations and organizations promote participation.”
Deborah Pegues, best-selling author and CEO of The Pegues Group, Inc., noted that “it’s extremely important that minorities, historically undercounted in the decennial census, be counted so that the needs of their communities can be accurately represented or properly prioritized according to their representative share of the U.S. population.”
Some evangelical leaders indicated that responding to COVID-19 has taken significant focus in their institution, but anticipate that they will promote participation in some way.
Reasons varied for the 45 percent of evangelical leaders that do not plan to promote participation in the 2020 Census. Nevertheless, while institutional commitments to promote the census may vary, leaders recognize its importance to the civic life of the nation.
The Evangelical Leaders Survey is a monthly poll of the Board of Directors of the National Association of Evangelicals. They include the CEOs of denominations and representatives of a broad array of evangelical organizations including missions, universities, publishers and churches.