Polling global evangelical leaders on evolution

A survey of the opinions of evangelical Protestant leaders across the world, conducted by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, included a question on evolution — and found that the leaders were divided. According to the executive summary of the Pew Forum's report, "Slightly more reject the idea of evolution (47%) than believe in theistic evolution, the notion that God has used evolution for the purpose of creating humans and other life (41%). Few (3%) believe that human life has evolved solely by natural processes with no involvement from a supreme being."

Respondents were asked which of the following statements was closest to their own views: humans and other living things have evolved over time due to natural processes such as natural selection; a supreme being guided the evolution of living things for the purpose of creating humans and other life in the form it exists today; humans and other living things have existed in their present form since the beginning of time. As with other polls (such as Gallup's), it is questionable whether the second option is worded specifically enough to express theistic evolution.

Respondents from the Global North — defined as Europe, North America, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand — were more likely to favor the second statement than the third (50% compared to 39%, with 3% favoring the first response and 8% not responding to the question), while respondents from the Global South — defined as sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East and North Africa, Latin America and most of Asia — were more likely to favor the third statement than the second (54% compared to 34%, with 3% favoring the first response and 10% not responding).

The survey was conducted among the participants of the Third Lausanne Congress of World Evangelization, which took place in Cape Town, South Africa, in October 2010. According to the executive summary, "The Pew Forum conducted the survey in nine languages, including English, from August to December 2010. A total of about 4,500 people registered to attend the Third Lausanne Congress, and nearly half completed the survey, using Web and paper questionnaires." The report emphasizes, however, that "the survey results do not necessarily reflect the views of evangelicals as a whole."