Posts Tagged ‘black’

Studies: Religion linked to fewer violent crimes; being ‘spiritual but not religious’ tied to increased risk

Can religion help reduce violent crime? Two new studies suggest the answer is yes, both by creating a moral climate that fosters respect among neighbors and by helping to form individual consciences of young adults. Communities with high levels of active participation in congregations may be particularly effective in reducing assaults, rapes and murders in some poor areas that are most likely to suffer from violent crimes, the research indicates.

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U.S. congregations report major gains in accepting gays and lesbians, racial, ethnic diversity

America’s pews are becoming dramatically more welcoming to gays and lesbians and increasingly reflective of the nation’s racial and ethnic diversity, according to the latest results from a major study of U.S. congregations. Nearly three in ten U.S. congregations permit gays and lesbians in committed relationships to hold volunteer leadership positions, almost double the 19 percent of congregations in 2006-2007 that allowed such opportunities, the National Congregations Study found. And the percentage of U.S. congregations with only non-Hispanic whites declined from 20 percent in 1998 to 11 percent in 2012, the study found.

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The ties that may not bind: Race, religion and marriage

In a scene from the movie “Lincoln,” a Democrat arguing against passage of the 13th Amendment derisively mentions the idea of interracial marriage to ridicule the legislation that would abolish slavery. A century-and-a-half later, as an African-American president is inaugurated for a second term, interracial unions still are relatively rare. And faith groups may be part of the reason Americans still find it so difficult to transcend race and ethnicity in matters of the heart, new research indicates.

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Study on race, religion lifts up unpopular truth of two Americas

As the nation prepares to celebrate black history month, the Panel Study of American Religion and Ethnicity gives us a bracing perspective of just how far apart black and white Americans are on race. If you are a white Protestant, the study found, race is not a major concern. The vast majority said they did not experience racial prejudice. that race is not important to the sense of who they are and they really do not think about race that much. In contrast, race is something more than four in 10 black Protestant respondents said they think about every day. Even more disturbing, given such a wide gap in understanding, a plurality of respondents said race relations would improve if the country stopped talking about race.

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The black church at a crossroads: Staying alive in the city

Black churches represent the fourth largest religious group of congregations in America, behind only Catholic and predominantly white mainline and evangelical Protestant churches. Yet they are often as invisible to the majority of Americans as the disproportionately poor communities many serve in the nation’s cities. Until, perhaps, they are no longer there. Anyone who cares about struggling city neighborhoods needs to pay attention to a major trend unfolding across urban America. Some large black churches are moving out, and many more may follow.

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