Bahai News - SURVEY TRACKS RELIGIOUS GROWTH IN U.S
16-Mar-2001 -- ZENIT.org News Agency
SURVEY TRACKS RELIGIOUS GROWTH IN U.S
Evangelical Protestants Comprise 58% of New Congregations
(Zenit.org).- New church development among Catholic and Eastern Orthodox
populations in the United States are being outpaced by other faiths,
including Islam and Bahai, a new survey says.
The interfaith survey,
"Faith Communities in the United States Today," involved 14,301
congregations in 41 denominations or faith groups. It was conducted by
researchers at Hartford Seminary in Connecticut and released at Holy
Trinity Cathedral Center in New York, according to the Washington
Newly organized Catholic parishes at midcentury represented
about 10% of all new churches, said Carl S. Dudley, who oversaw the
research project with David A. Roozen.
That portion has dropped to 5%,
while the combined percentage of new Bahai, Muslim, Jewish and Mormon
congregations has increased from about 3% to more than 20%, Dudley told
The survey confirms that the growth of less hierarchical,
more charismatic congregations and smaller U.S. faiths such as Islam and
the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is "rapidly putting a
new face on American religion" and diminishing the dominance of
traditional churches, Dudley said.
congregations make up the largest portion, 58%, of new
It also concluded that religious history is especially
important to ethnic groups, with 64% of Latino congregations and half of
black congregations responding that their churches are a primary means
of preserving cultural heritage, the Post said.
Fewer than one-third
of white congregations emphasize religious history in the same
The two-year study also found that half of the congregations in
the United States were founded before 1945. Half of all congregations
have fewer than 100 regularly participating adults, and one-fourth have
fewer than 50. One in 10 have more than 1,000 adult participants.
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