‘Trumpvangelicals’ top religion journalists’ poll

Evangelical supporters place hands on and pray with President Trump in the Oval Office of the White House. Photo courtesy of Johnnie Moore

(RNS) — For the second year in a row, President Trump and his conservative evangelical supporters topped the list of the 10 most important religion news stories of the year as compiled by the country’s largest organization of religion journalists.

RELATED: 2017: In a less religious America, conservative Christians got the president’s ear, a museum and a day in court

These so-called Trumpvangelicals are enjoying unprecedented access to the Oval Office both through Vice President Mike Pence, a conservative Christian, and an informal presidential advisory panel consisting almost entirely of conservative evangelical Christian leaders.

“Religion reporters have long recognized the role religion plays in the political sphere,” said Manya Brachear Pashman, president of Religion News Association, the organization that conducted the poll. “But after the 2016 election, it became clear to reporters and editors, regardless of their specialty, there was a lot at stake for white evangelical Christians.

“​They are strongly represented in President Trump’s Cabinet and religious advisory body and have shaped the administration’s priorities ranging from Jerusalem to the Supreme Court to interpretations of religious liberty. We saw that play out in the form of policy shifts, public demonstrations and protests that kept us all on our toes.”

RELATED: All the president’s clergymen: A close look at Trump’s ‘unprecedented’ ties with evangelicals

Trump also took the title of Religion Newsmaker of the Year, ahead of Pope Francis, Protestant reformer Martin Luther and Alabama’s Roy Moore.

After Trumpvangelicals, religion journalists cited the following as the most important religion stories of 2017:

  • White supremacists march in Charlottesville, Va. —  Neo-Nazis bearing anti-Semitic slogans and tiki torches are resisted by religious groups; a counterprotester is killed when one demonstrator drives his vehicle into a crowd.
  • Muslim travel ban  — The Trump administration’s travel ban on a number of majority-Muslim nations leads to airport protests, court delays and further versions of the ban. Trump promises to eradicate “radical Islamic terrorism” and retweets anti-Muslim videos.
  • Jerusalem — Trump breaks precedent in recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital while calling for continued access to Christian, Jewish and Muslim holy sites. Israeli leaders and U.S. supporters applaud while others warn that the move threatens peace efforts.
  • Atrocities against the Rohingya — Majority Buddhist clerics incite hostility as Myanmar drives more than half a million Muslim Rohingya into Bangladesh in a campaign of atrocities.

Also in the top 10 are the church shooting in Sutherland Springs, Texas; the Senate candidacy of Judge Roy Moore; the appointments of Neil Gorsuch and other conservative judges; the protests of National Football League players, some citing their Christian faith; and the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation.

The Supreme Court’s consideration of religious liberty and free speech in the Masterpiece Cakeshop case was just edged out of the top 10 to the 11th spot.

The Religion News Association, which draws members from news media both in the U.S. and abroad, has polled its members at year’s end for decades.

(The Religion News Association and Religion News Service both fall under the auspices of the Religion News Foundation, a secular educational and charitable 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.)

About the author

Kimberly Winston

Kimberly Winston is a freelance religion reporter based in the San Francisco Bay Area.


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  • Are the evangelicals trumpeting really even Christian? According to Article One of the Barmen Declaration, they are definitely not. The Declaration says that nobody and nothing takes precedence over Jesus, the one word you need to hear and trust. Trump’s patent dishonesty has deafened the Trump believing evangelicals to Jesus’s truth.

  • oh yeah! the very same hypocrite german only christians, that agreed to murder millions of other christians and also jews during wwii and were telling the truth. with such so called loyalty to the alleged, as jesus christ.

    where murdering jews, and other christians, takes precedence over the alleged words of the alleged as jesus christ. adolph hitler, who they followed into war certainly took precedence above the alleged as jesus christ. does not sound very anointed-like (christian) to me.

    when i, would like to know who authorized altering Yeshooah’s name to jesus in violation of scripture? an alteration, that makes everyone liars that uses that alteration. when you, know the physical judgement is according to how true to ELOHEEM and THEIR Son you are.

    so saying you love jesus, is like saying you love a lie and a liar. Yeshooah, means His Her Redemption. and the word jesus, esus, or heysus, is not even close to the words for redemption in greek, latin or any romantic language. let alone The His/Her designation. The very same HIS/HER designation as ELOHEEM, ELSHADDAEE, or YEHOO VHEE (YHVH).

    so do not tell me, your a believer either. with your religion, far far far away from This. so do not try to convince me, with you are better than thou than trump; the christian bibles are so corrupted, i can’t trust any alleged as christian. anymore than, i can anyone claiming to be jews.

  • Enjoy your unfocused and ignorant rant. It makes you look stupid. The German Church Struggle, from which the Barmen Declaration came, was an organized movement against Hitler. He tried to take over the German church and install a bishop loyal to himself. The Confessing Church was formed in opposition to that. Two of the leaders, Bonhoeffer and Niemoller were imprisoned and Bonhoeffer was hanged. The Barmen Declaration was a defiant battle cry: the church belongs to God, not Hitler.

  • Christian apostasy. Maybe the findies are right and the Apocalypse is near, the big sign being Christian apostasy to teh anti-Christ that Trump may be or be the forerunner of.

  • The evangelicals are,like Trump himself, biggest hypocrites. To woo the evangelicals, stupid and ignorant as they are since the majority of these people are rural backwood Americans. Their education levels do not exceed high
    school level and their average annual income barely crosses $ 20,00. So, naturally the evangelicals have fallen for Trump’s bait of MAGA and a better future.

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