The Evangelical Kaleidoscope: Racial/Ethnic Similarity and Difference

  • Ruth M. Melkonian-Hoover
  • Lyman A. Kellstedt
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Religion, Politics, and Policy book series (PSRPP)


In this chapter, our focus is on racial/ethnic subgroups of evangelicalism, and our data source is one massive survey—the 2016 Comprehensive Congressional Election Survey (N = 65,000)—which allows comparisons of the immigration perspectives of white, Hispanic, African-American, and Asian evangelicals. The four groups of evangelicals are very similar in terms of general doctrine and religiosity, but very different in their immigration perspectives, with white evangelicals more conservative than the other three groups (see also Wong JS, Immigrants, Evangelicals, and Politics in an Era of Demographic Change. Russell Sage Foundation, New York, 2018). The church attendance item in particular reveals that the oft-cited conclusion associating evangelical religion with conservative political attitudes and behavior (Cf. Olson and Green 2006 among others) may well be spurious when multivariate controls are employed. Indeed, frequent exposure to evangelical church services softens, rather than hardens, immigration attitudes when social/demographic and political variables are controlled for. In addition, the link between evangelical Protestant affiliation and conservative political attitudes and behavior did not hold for racial/ethnic minority evangelicals when an immigration attitude scale served as the dependent variable, and multivariate controls were instituted. The relationship did remain for white evangelicals.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ruth M. Melkonian-Hoover
    • 1
  • Lyman A. Kellstedt
    • 2
  1. 1.Gordon CollegeWenhamUSA
  2. 2.Wheaton CollegeWheatonUSA

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