From Antichrist to Brother in Christ: How Protestant Pastors View the Pope

January 2016

“LifeWay asked 1,000 Protestant pastors in America about their views in a phone survey from September 8–21, 2015, shortly before the pontiff’s visit to the United States.”


Here are some of the results of their survey:


More than half of evangelical pastors say Pope Francis is their brother in Christ.


More than one-third say they value the pope’s view on theology, and 3 in 10 say he has improved their view of the Catholic Church.


Nearly 4 in 10 say the pope, known for his humility and concern for the poor, has had a positive impact on their opinions of the Catholic Church. Almost two-thirds view Pope Francis as a genuine Christian and “brother in Christ.”


When asked: “Can a Catholic be a born-again Christian?” Ninety percent of Protestant pastors surveyed responded “Yes,” five percent “No,” and five percent “Not Sure.”


“Those are among the findings of a new study of 1,000 Protestant senior pastors, released this week from Nashville-based LifeWay Research.”


“Overall, the survey found that many Protestant pastors have taken a liking to Pope Francis.”[1]


With survey results like these, many of the Pastors surveyed should not be called Protestants, but rather non-, or even more appropriately, pre-Roman Catholics.


Historically, Protestants have viewed the Pope as Antichrist.


And the dragon gave him his power and his throne and great authority. I saw one of his heads as if it had been slain, and his fatal wound was healed. And the whole earth was amazed and followed after the beast; they worshiped the dragon because he gave his authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast, and who is able to wage war with him? (Revelation 13:2b-4)[2]

[1]Lisa Cannon Green, Facts and Trends, September 25, 2015, viewed January 28, 2016,

[2]Thanks to Sean Gerety for bringing this to my attention. “From Antichrist to Brother in Christ: How Protestant Pastors View the Pope,” October 1, 2015, viewed January 28, 2016,