Frank Simmonds carries the cross in the Way of the Cross procession over the Brooklyn Bridge April 22, 2011 in New York City. Credit: Daniel Barry/Getty Images
At a press event with the president of Turkey in 2006, President Barack Obama made the comment that the United States was no longer simply a Christian nation – that America had become more ecumenical and was comprised of a diverse set of faiths. Obama was widely criticized for his remark at the time, but this week the National Association of Evangelicals echoed his comments with the results of a survey of selected evangelical leaders. When asked whether or not the U.S. was a Christian nation, 68 percent of them said no. The association’s president, Leith Anderson, added “Much of the world refers to America as a Christian nation, but most of our Christian leaders don’t think so.” Other members of the organization gave different reasons for their answers that ranged from rejecting the idea that a nation can be solely Christian to a position that America once had been, but is no longer a nation of Christians. But many of them were in agreement that more domestic missionary work was required to put the country back on the Evangelical path.
The U.S. doesn’t have an official religion, but how has Christianity influenced its people and history?
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