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Archive for the ‘congregations’ Category

COVID-19 sent houses of worship online. Will congregations come back in person?

March 24, 2023 By Ryan Burge (RNS) — When the COVID-19 pandemic led governors across the United States to close places where people congregated, religious organizations were left scrambling. While some larger houses of worship had already been broadcasting their weekend services online, many had to suddenly and urgently master the logistics of streaming worship

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More Americans stay away from church as pandemic nears year three

January 5, 2023 By Bob Smietana (RNS) — At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, nearly every congregation in the United States shut down, at least for a while. For some Americans, that was the push they needed to never come back to church. A new report, which looked at in-person worship attendance patterns before the

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Shopping for a new church? Your politics may determine which pew fits

December 12, 2022 By Bob Smietana (RNS) — When Andre Audette first arrived at Notre Dame for grad school, he got a brochure about living in South Bend, Indiana. That brochure included a section on churches and advice on which Catholic parish to attend if you were conservative and which to attend if you were

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Did faith fall off a cliff during COVID? New study says no.

November 14, 2022 By Bob Smietana (RNS) — When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, many Americans lost the habit of churchgoing after almost every church in the country closed down their in-person services and shifted online. But did some of them give up on God? Sociologists like Michael Hout want to know. Hout, a professor of sociology at

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Religious groups with immigrant members grew fastest over past decade

November 11, 2022 By Yonat Shimron (RNS) — A decennial study of U.S. religious life shows what many demographers and others have long known: Participation in congregational services has not kept up with overall population growth. However, religious groups drawing large numbers of immigrants have seen steady growth. The U.S. Religion Census, conducted every 10 years by

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Fewer than half of Americans may be Christian by 2070, according to new projections

September 13, 2022 By Bob Smietana (RNS) — America has long prided itself on being a country where people can choose whatever religion they like. The majority has long chosen Christianity. By 2070, that may no longer be the case. If current trends continue, Christians could make up less than half of the population —

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Non-affirming views continue to complicate HIV/AIDS response in Black churches

August 15, 2022 By Richa Karmarkar (RNS) — Wearing a patterned button-down and his signature blond braids, RJ Hill stood out from the other clergy in the virtual meeting earlier this year discussing HIV and AIDS outreach in Staten Island. He spoke deliberately, aiming for clarity and confidence, attributes he later said are critical to

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Millennials adopt digital worship, but not at the expense of IRL faith

August 5, 2022 By Kathryn Post (RNS) — No small number of millennials was first introduced to personal technology tending to their tamagotchis during recess. Only later did the dot-com revolution, smartphones and social media invade every part of their lives, from relationships to health to music — and faith. Today, meditation podcasts, TikTok sermons and livestreams

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When preachers get political, do they change minds?

By Ryan Burge (RNS) — One of the most important and difficult questions among those who study religion and politics is just how important a pastor, rabbi, imam or other religious leader is when it comes to shaping the worldviews of their congregation. These figures get a weekly chance to dominate the attention of the

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The eternal truth behind the SBC presidential vote: Location, location, location

People arrive at the Anaheim Convention Center for the Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting, June 14, 2022, in Anaheim, California. Photo by Justin L. Stewart/Religion News Service June 16, 2022 By Ryan Burge (RNS) — On Tuesday (June 14), thousands of messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention’s annual meeting in Anaheim, California, cast their ballots

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