Posts Tagged ‘mainline’

Diversity rising: Census shows Mormons, nondenominational churches, Muslims spreading out across U.S.

The U.S. religious landscape is shifting, and no one may be more thankful than GOP presidential contender Mitt Romney. The 2010 U.S. Religion Census, now available on the Association of Religion Data Archives, found that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints gained the most regular members in the last 10 years. But the denomination is not the only one spreading its wings nationally in a time of increasing religious diversity
Taken together, nondenominational and independent churches may now be considered the third largest religious group in the country.

[Read Full Column...]

Numbers vs. nurture: Predicting the future of religion

Date-setting for the end of the world has never worked out too well for biblical prophets. Some social scientists, however, say increasingly sophisticated demographic tools can provide vauable insight into the future of religion. Under one scenario for the U.S., Hispanic Catholics and non-Christian religions will be big winners, while predominantly white religious groups will lag behind. Other researchers, however, are skeptical of such attempts to predict the future.

[Read Full Column...]

Not everyone wins, but all faiths grow in competitive marketplace

The more competition, the better for American religion. Major immigration from Asia, the growth into the thousands of religious movements within and outside the church and an active and influential secular community have not stopped the growth of the nation’s largest faith — Christianity. Instead, the expanding religion marketplace is proving to be a win-win situation for all faiths, according to J. Gordon Melton, founding director of the Institute for the Study of American Religion in Santa Barbara, Calif.

[Read Full Column...]

Catholics, evangelicals play key role in health care debate

Religion counts in the politics of abortion. And some religious groups have far more clout than others in the debate. The issue of public funding of abortion perhaps more than ever holds the potential to tip the political balance with the prospects for comprehensive health care reform nearing life support. That makes the Catholic Church and evangelical groups key players in the conversation. Research shows their most committed members, the people they have the most influence over and are most likely to mobilize, are among the strongest supporters of restrictions on legal abortion.

[Read Full Column...]

Studies find God is alive and well among America’s youth

There has been a compelling storyline throughout American religious history of the serious temptations endangering the next generation of faithful. Moonlit buggy rides, dance halls, live theater, radio, movies, television, the Internet and social media such as Facebook all have taken their turn as the latest threats to young hearts and minds. But several recent surveys available on ARDA reveal few major changes in the core religious beliefs of young people. “Faith,” one researcher says, “isn’t going anywhere in this country.”.

[Read Full Column...]

The mighty have fallen: Is it time to redefine the mainline?

Mainline, oldline or sideline. Mainstream, standard brand or traditional. Progressive, liberal or moderate. The continuing decline of Protestant denominations that once set the agenda for American civil religion is forcing new ways of thinking about how to define the group of churches long described as “the mainline.“

[Read Full Column...]

Taking sides in 30-year war over gay, lesbian issues

They may be getting older, with average ages climbing well into the 50s and beyond in many congregations, but mainline Protestant denominations have lost none of their sex drive. In what is already a 30-year conflict, there are few signs that national church bodies are any less hot and bothered over gay and lesbian issues. But two studies indicate that some denominations and many congregations are settling in on one side of the debate.

[Read Full Column...]