4 Percent of Sermons Mention Abortion, New Study Finds

“Even though he gave quotable sermons addressing abortions, my priest was urged to avoid the subject by people. Sad!”

Black Pastor Preaching

Abortion is one issue that pastors avoid including in their sermons.  Following is an article by Michael Foust of Christian Headlines on the Pew Research Center. 

About one in five churches across the United States during the spring of 2019 heard a sermon mentioning abortion, according to a new Pew Research Center survey that showed a disparity between evangelical and mainline churches on the issue.

Nineteen percent of churches heard at least one sermon mentioning abortion, with evangelical Protestant (22 percent), Catholic (19 percent) and historically black Protestant churches (18 percent) being the most likely to include a sermon on abortion during the study period and mainline churches (10 percent) the least likely.

Most sermons were in opposition to abortion, Pew said.

Overall, 4 percent of all sermons in U.S. churches mentioned abortion during the study period, including 4 percent of evangelical sermons, 5 percent of Catholic sermons and 3 percent of sermons in historically black Protestant churches. Two percent of sermons in mainline Protestant churches mentioned abortion.

The survey examined online sermons from more than 6,400 U.S. churches between April 7 and June 1, 2019. The survey period did not include what often is called Sanctity of Human Life Sunday or Pro-Life Sunday, an annual day in January when sermons on abortion are more common.

“While the database is not representative of all U.S. Christian sermons, it offers a window into what many Americans hear each week from the pulpit,” Pew’s Dennis Quinn wrote in an online analysis.

Meanwhile, sermons that mention abortion rarely dwell on the topic but instead mention it in only one segment of the sermon: “three-quarters of all sermons that mention abortion do so in just one segment,” according to Pew. (Pew divided sermons into 250-word segments.)

Churches with fewer members also were more likely to hear about abortion in a sermon. Although 21 percent of churches with fewer than 200 members heard at least one sermon mentioning abortion during the study period, that percentage fell to 17 percent among churches with more than 200 members.

The Pew data sparked a variety of responses on social media.

Christian Headlines continues here 

Blogger’s Comment: It’s extremely disappointing that pastors avoid the issue of abortion. Many are fearful of offending or losing church members. They don’t understand how many women sitting in their pews are suffering from the pain and regret of aborting their baby. A survey from 2015 indicated 70 percent of women who had abortions identify as Christians.

For women in a crisis pregnancy, their church should be the first place they turn to for help. Brochures should be available about crisis pregnancy centers. They provide counseling, ultrasounds, housing and education before and after their baby is born, some for up to two years such as Legacy of Life. Hotline numbers to access counseling and locations of care pregnancy centers should be published in church bulletins. The National Right to Life  hotline is available 24/7.

Rachel’s Vineyard ministers to post-abortive mothers and fathers, siblings and grandparents through weekend retreats.  Silent No More reaches out to those suffering grief and regret after abortion by offering after-care abortion programs. 

By remaining silent, pastors miss the opportunity to minister the love of Jesus to a teen or young woman in a crisis pregnancy. They also fail to share messages of God’s mercy, forgiveness and healing to post-abortive moms.