I think this is an important question, because there is this group called "Non-Evangelical Protestants" that research articles may use in order to distinguish them from "Evangelical Protestants" and "Catholics".

I have a hunch that they are "American Mainline Protestants".

  • Basically anyone who makes room for baptism as essential to salvation or places any more importance on it than just "well...we'll let you do it, if you really really want to...but you have to swear up and down you don't believe its necessary first" is banished from the so-called "Evangelical" camp. Evangelicalism is a sort of Calvinism lite. Anyone tending in a direction that a Calvinist would label "Pelagian" is excluded, or rather, would exclude themselves. Commented Jun 22, 2014 at 22:52
  • I think most necessary as a first step would be to define "evangelical", especially since the term no longer means what (or is used in the same way as) it used to be. Commented Dec 30, 2015 at 21:48

1 Answer 1


You are correct in that "mainline Protestants" is the largest non-evangelical Protestant group in the U.S. Wikipedia states that "The 2004 survey of religion and politics in the United States identified the Evangelical percentage of the population at 26.3 percent while Roman Catholics are 22 percent and mainline Protestants make up 16 percent."

See this Pew Forum survey appendix that classifies various Protestant denominations into three traditions, "evangelical Protestant churches, mainline Protestant churches and historically black Protestant churches."


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