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Trends
So… how are the denominations doing these days?  Not so well.  Here is the top ten of denominations in the United States as reported by the new 2010 Yearbook of American and Canadian Churches, as well as their increase of decrease over the past year. 1. The Catholic Church: 68.1 million, up 1.49 percent. 2. Southern Baptist Convention: 16.2 million, down 0.24 percent. 3. The United Methodist Church: 7.8 million (U.S.), down 0.98 percent. 4. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints: 5.9 million (U.S.), up 1.71 percent. 5. The Church of God in Christ: 5.5 million, no change. 6. National Baptist Convention, U.S.A., Inc: 5 million, no change. 7. Evangelical Lutheran Church in America: 4.6 million, down 1.62 percent. 8. National Baptist Convention of America, Inc.: 3.5 million, no change. 9. Assemblies of God: 2.9 million, up 1.27 percent. 10. Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.); 2.8 million, down 3.28 percent. More here… Any thoughts? Todd
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Trends
A Pew Research Center survey showed Americans switch religions often. Here are just a few famous people known to convert their beliefs more than once. According to the survey:  Americans change religious affiliation early and often. In total, about half of American adults have changed religious affiliation at least once during their lives. Most people who change their religion leave their childhood faith before age 24, and many of those who change religion do so more than once. These are among the key findings of a new survey conducted by the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life. The survey documents the fluidity of religious affiliation in the U.S. and describes in detail the patterns and reasons for change. The reasons people give for changing their religion – or leaving religion altogether – differ widely depending on the origin and destination of the convert. The group that has grown the most in recent years due to religious change is the unaffiliated population. Two-thirds of former Catholics who have become unaffiliated and half of former Protestants who have become unaffiliated say they left their childhood faith because they stopped believing in its teachings, and roughly four-in-ten say they became unaffiliated because they do not believe in God or the teachings of most religions.1 Additionally, many people who left a religion to become unaffiliated say they did so in part because they think of religious people as hypocritical or judgmental, because religious organizations focus too much on rules or because religious leaders are too focused on power and money. Far fewer say they became unaffiliated because they believe that modern science proves that religion is just superstition. Catholicism has suffered the greatest net loss in the process of religious change. Many people who leave the Catholic Church do so for religious reasons; two-thirds of former Catholics who have become unaffiliated say they left the Catholic faith because they stopped believing in its teachings, as do half of former Catholics who are now Protestant. Fewer than three-in-ten former Catholics, however, say the clergy sexual abuse scandal factored into their decision to leave Catholicism. Read more here… Also for a slideshow of some more infamous people who have changed their religion repeatedly, check this out… Todd
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