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Christianity Report 2024

the holy family stained glass artwork
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The Christian religion has proven to be very resilient and adaptable to various cultures. At its core, the faith is fairly simple. There is a central text (the Bible) and central teacher (Jesus). The main precept is to follow the life and teachings of Jesus, with a general tendency toward doing good and helping others.

Believers ascribe a certain present-day authority to Jesus, making his life and teachings of greater importance than any other religious leader.

For those who see the Bible as primarily a self-help guide, the teachings provide useful guidance and insight for best practices in life. For those who also embrace the mysticism and spirituality of Christianity, there’s a belief that God and Jesus are able to help people go further with their religious observance — like a fitness trainer at a gym.

Separation of Church and State

The United States was established, in part, from a desire to live free from religious tyranny. The desire of religious freedom was so great that it is protected in the founding documents. An effort was made to ensure that no one religion or sect would become dominant.

A common present-day concern is that a religious group or leader might influence or control the government — oppressing and indoctrinating citizens.

A less commonly expressed concern is regarding what might happen if political leaders and doctrines infiltrated religious institutions. Could the faith and practice of believers be altered?

Church in Decline

In the years leading up to the 2020 pandemic, the number of people identifying as Christian was in decline. [Source: Pew Research, 17 Oct 2019]

The global pandemic further eroded faith communities by reducing attendance at in-person events. This has resulted in fewer people having a strong faith-based upbringing.

A New Jesus

Today, in a less scripturally aware society, people are open to considering who might be a modern-day fulfillment of Christ.

Supporters of Donald Trump have expressed in various ways how they believe God has chosen Trump and sent Trump to save America.

The following video was created by a Trump supporter and posted by Trump to social media.

The message is consistent with messages on t-shirts, bumper stickers, placards, and the statements of many Trump supporters.

Trump isn’t the only one seeking to be a revered leader and deliverer. The document “Candidates for the Position of Messiah” provides additional information on this topic. [View]

It’s not just within the Christian religion that Trump is considered a spiritual figure. As far away as India, people worship Trump as a God. The video below provides an example. [Source: TRT, 24 Feb 2020]

In May 2016, the Wall Street Journal reported on a similar phenomenon where Trump’s image was placed with images of other Gods. One religious leader stated: “If anybody can save humanity, it is Donald Trump.” [Source: WSJ, 12 May 2016]

While creating idols is a central practice of many religions, it’s generally not seen in Christianity. But we understand that It’s a natural human instinct to elevate and idolize Hollywood celebrities and music performers. People have always been drawn to a leader they can idolize.


In our increasingly secular society, people identify with Trump’s human failings. They admire Trump’s material accomplishments. He seems more successful than any character from the Bible. In this way his message and appeal is quite persuasive.

What initially drew evangelicals to Trump was quite likely their belief that prayer and exposure to Christian values could help reform and improve Trump. Instead, Trump seems to have changed evangelicals. They defend him, even when it means denouncing tenants of their faith.

This has some Christian leaders expressing concern about the influence of Trump on Christianity. This will likely be an ongoing issue as long as Trump has such a strong influence on so many millions of people.

Below is a series of teaching videos from a retired pastor who has spent his life serving and building Christian communities.

Leading Them Astray

The 1999 religious movie “The Omega Code” is based on a storyline involving a world leader from the U.S. who rises up and gains the loyalty and devotion of followers who seem to be blind to his faults. Those who don’t support him are declared traitors. The movie shows how religious people also follow this leader who clearly doesn’t exemplify religious teachings. That aspect of the movie seems very unrealistic, since religious people typically have very high standards for those they establish as leaders. The movie is available on YouTube for free with ads. [View Now] It’s an interesting portrayal that has much in common with today’s religious supporters of Trump.

Who We Praise Matters

It’s been said of Christians, “You are the only Bible some people will ever read.” That statement underlines the importance of how Christians speak and behave.

Usually Christians are praising and following exemplary present-day and historic figures. This strengthens and solidifies their message.

Christians typically praise those who are praiseworthy such as Mother Teresa or Gandhi.

If Christians defend, praise, fund, bolster, and follow a secular leader of questionable ethics, it erodes the message of the Gospel. It makes them and the religion less trusted among onlookers.

Other Factors of Impact

There are other factors that may influence the wellbeing of Christians and faith communities.

Although many industries are seeing record historic profits, the economic wellbeing of the working poor continues to be in decline. The middle class is also being eroded.

This artificially generated economic distress results in more people working extra hours and multiple jobs to earn what’s needed to survive.

People who are financially strained and working weekdays and weekends, do not have time for church. They also do not have money to give to churches or ministries.

The vitality of Churches is dependent upon a vibrant prosperous middle class.

In addition to economic factors, social media has had an overwhelming influence on society. Church attendance, prayer meetings, and Bible study groups might happen a few times a week at best. Social media is every day all day. So it is quickly replacing religion as the primary influence on our society.

As we look to 2024, we seem to be in an important year of change and challenge for Christians and churches.

By Greg Johnson

Greg Johnson is a freelance writer and tech consultant in Iowa City. He is also the founder and Director of the ResourcesForLife.com website. Learn more at AboutGregJohnson.com