Introduction: Religion and the Politics of Immigration Reform

  • Ruth M. Melkonian-Hoover
  • Lyman A. Kellstedt
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Religion, Politics, and Policy book series (PSRPP)


Immigration policy has been an important issue throughout American history. In this text, we examine the role of evangelicals in this policy arena. We contend that there are a series of fault lines among evangelicals with regard to immigration policy: between evangelical elites and laity; between a growing majority of centrist and center-left evangelical elites, and an increasingly vocal minority of evangelical elites who are staunchly conservative on immigration questions; and between evangelicals along lines of race and ethnicity. We also consider areas of convergence and cooperation within these same categories.


  1. Bebbington, David W. 1989. Evangelicalism in Modern Britain. London: Unwin Hyman.Google Scholar
  2. Green, John C., James L. Guth, Corwin E. Smidt, and Lyman A. Kellstedt, eds. 1996. Religion and the Culture Wars: Dispatches from the Front. Lanham/London: Rowman and Littlefield.Google Scholar
  3. Jones, Robert P. 2018. White Evangelicals Can’t Quit Donald Trump. April 20.
  4. Kellstedt, Lyman A., and James L. Guth. 2018. Survey Research: Religion and Electoral Behavior in the United States, 1936–2016. In Political Science Research in Practice, ed. Akan Malici and Elizabeth S. Smith, 2nd ed. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  5. LifeWay Research. 2015. NAE, LifeWay Research Publish Evangelical Beliefs Research Definition. November 19.Google Scholar
  6. Monsma, Stephen. 2017. What Is an Evangelical? And Does It Matter? Christian Scholar’s Review XLVI: 4 Summer.Google Scholar
  7. National Association of Evangelicals. 1943. Statement of Faith.
  8. ———. What Is an Evangelical?
  9. Pew Research Center. 2014. Religious Landscape Survey.Google Scholar
  10. Smidt, Corwin E. 2013. American Evangelicals Today. Lanham: Rowman and Littlefield.Google Scholar
  11. Smidt, Corwin E., Lyman A. Kellstedt, and James Guth, eds. 2009. The Oxford Handbook of Religion and American Politics. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  12. Steensland, Brian, et al. 2000. The Measure of American Religion. Social Forces 79 (1): 291–318.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. White House. 2006. The White House. 2006. “President Attends National Catholic Prayer Breakfast.” April 7.Google Scholar
  14. Wong, Janelle. 2018. Immigrants, Evangelicals and Politics in an Era of Demographic Change. New York: Russell Sage Foundation.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Wuthnow. 1988. The Restructuring of American Religion. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ruth M. Melkonian-Hoover
    • 1
  • Lyman A. Kellstedt
    • 2
  1. 1.Gordon CollegeWenhamUSA
  2. 2.Wheaton CollegeWheatonUSA

Personalised recommendations