Evangelicals have been in the news a lot lately, from the Denver Broncos’ Tim Tebow and his take-a-knee prayers to the Texas pastor and his wife who spent 24 hours in bed preaching the virtues of sex in Christian marriages.

Mitt Romney is struggling to gain evangelical support for his presidential bid, and Rick Santorum — a Catholic — won the blessing of more than 100 evangelical pastors gathered at a Texas ranch.

So who are these Christians? What do they have in common and how are they different from other believers? Even famed preacher Billy Graham wasn’t sure of the answer.

“Actually, that’s a question, I’d like to ask somebody, too,” Graham told religion reporter Terry Mattingly in a 1987 interview. “The lines (have) become blurred. … You go all the way from the extreme fundamentalists to the extreme liberals and, somewhere in between, there are the evangelicals.”

So here’s a primer about these religious types, their history, faith and politics:

Technically, all Christians are, according to the Religion Newswriters Association’s Religion Stylebook. The word comes from the Greek “evangelion,” which means “good news” or “gospel.” And all who claim to follow Jesus Christ feel obligated to share his gospel.

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