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Americans and Protestant pastors were asked if divorce was a sin, but the answer isn’t quite black and white.

Most Americans do not consider divorce a sin.  That is probably the biggest take-away from the results of a new Lifeway Research study, reports the Religion News Service.

Most Americans do not consider divorce a sin.  That is probably the biggest take-away from the results of a new Lifeway Research study, reports the Religion News Service.

However, if you drill down deeper into the data, some other trends appear. 

Respondents to the study conducted in the late summer and early fall of 2014 were given situations which led to divorce.  In turn, they needed to decide if the resulting divorce was sinful or not, reports the Lifeway Newsroom Blog.

Some of the situations included:

  • the spouses no longer loved one another
  • one’s spouse is addicted to pornography
  • one’s spouse commits adultery
  • one is being abused by their spouse
  • one is abandoned by their spouse

In each of those cases, between 35 and 40% of respondents considered the resulting divorce sinful, which, of course, means that over 60% of respondents did not consider the resulting divorces sinful.

Interestingly, Protestant Pastors saw things differently.  61% of them thought the divorce of couples who no longer loved each other was a sin, which approaches double the rate of the total population (38%).

However, the pastors were less likely than the population at-large to call divorce a sin in the instances of adultery, abuse and abandonment.

Some other notable results of the survey included the fact that people in the Northeast and Protestant South were more likely to consider divorce as sin than Americans in the western half of the country.

Also, Hispanics are more likely than whites to consider divorce over adultery a sin, while African-Americans are more likely than whites to consider divorce over abuse a sin.

Overall, 37% of Americans do not consider divorce for any of the given reasons as sinful.  That total is made up of 40% of white people, 37% of Hispanics, and 26% of African-Americans.

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