Presbyterians Today

OCT-NOV 2017

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8 OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2017 | Pr e s by te r i a n s To d ay » Other findings: GO FIGURE | Perry Chang T he neo-Nazi rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, and the police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, have helped renew attention on issues of race and ethnicity. Have Presbyterians' attitudes and involvement in these issues changed with the times? A comparison of results from August 2013 and February 2017 Presbyterian Panel surveys suggests that Presbyterians have changed. Today, Presbyterians are more involved in racial justice work and more likely to believe there is dis- crimination against people of color than in 2013. More Presbyterians today are open to worshiping in a congregation in which people of a racial or ethnic background different from theirs pre- dominate. And more are already part of a congregation trying to diversify its membership. Because different Presbyterian leaders responded to the two surveys, it is difficult to know definitively whether Presbyterians have become more supportive of racial justice, or whether the composition of Presbyterians has changed. The findings likely reflect a bit of both. There was no change in the per- centages of panelists who are white and people of color. About 9 in 10 Presbyterians are white. For more information, see the PC(USA) "Facing Racism" website: Perry Chang is a research associate with Research Services for the Presbyterian Mission Agency. Infographic by Jeffrey Lawrence, publisher of Presbyterians Today. Presbyterian attitudes on race More emphasis on racial justice and worship diversity Presbyterians perceive more racial discrimination today than 4 years ago But congregations and members are now getting more involved in efforts to dismantle racism They say people of color have less of a chance than white people — • Of getting a good education 54% 62% • Of getting a good job 34% 57% • Of getting affordable housing 30% 56% 2013 2017 2013 2017 They also say that people of color are treated worse than white people — • In stores and shops 20% 40% • In dealings with the police 48% 64% • In courts of law 27% 45% • On public transportation 7% 20% • On the job and at work 6% 26% Members who say their congregation has made it a priority to become more racially and ethnically diverse 25% 34% Some of the things that congregations are doing • Preaching on racial justice • Inviting guest preachers of a different race from the majority of members • Participating in a racial justice class • Worshiping jointly with a congregation of predominantly a different race Some of things that Presbyterian members are doing • Belonging, volunteering or giving money to racial justice organizations • Participating in civil rights protests • Attending a cultural diversity or antiracism workshop 2013 2017 Source: Research Services, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). Race and Ethnicity: The Report of the August 2013 Panel Survey and Race and Ethnicity: The Report of the February 2017 Panel Survey

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