Trends for U.S. Churches Mostly Pointing Down, Says Report

Adelle M. Banks, Huffington Post, September 28, 2011

American congregations have grown less healthy in the last decade, with fewer people in the pews and aging memberships, according to a new Hartford Seminary study.

But there are also “pockets of vitality,” including an increase in minority congregations and a surge in election-related activities at evangelical congregations.

The findings coming from the new Faith Communities Today (FACT) survey are based on responses from more than 11,000 Christian, Jewish and Muslim congregations in 2010 and more than 14,000 congregations in 2000.

{snip}

“It means we have a lot more smaller congregations,” said David Roozen, author of the report, “A Decade of Change in American Congregations, 2000-2010,” and director of the Hartford Institute for Religion Research.

{snip}

Across the board–among white evangelical, white mainline and racial/ethnic congregations–there was a decrease in attendance.

{snip}

In the meantime, Roozen said, the racial/ethnic makeup of congregations is reflecting the U.S. Census Bureau’s prediction that minorities will constitute the majority of Americans by 2050.

The percentage of congregations with majorities of members from racial/ethnic groups, often including immigrants, grew from 23 percent to 30 percent over the decade. These congregations are disproportionately non-Christian or evangelical Protestant. They also tend to have younger members.

{snip}

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  • Anonymous

    In the past churches provided vital social safety net services including food for the poor, networking for jobs, and care for the sick. This has been usurped by the government who now provides these social services. The problem is the government is a distant abstract for whom the recipients have no connection and thus no responsibility. The social contract has been broken. A generation of thankless, even hostile dependents has been bred.

  • Anonymous

    This is what you get in mainline churches today, such as Episcopalian:

    Paul told the Ephesians that “they come before God without fear,” and these words can help anyone who is trying to pay attention to the call upon their life to build bridges. This work cannot be done without going before God. It is not easy to cross cultural and racial borders that have never been crossed before and to begin to forge new relationships across major differences. But the understanding of God’s support in this matter will be the source of the courage that is needed to take such steps. It seems rather clear that white churches will stay white and black churches will stay black until there is a recommitment to the task of adhering to God’s will for reconciliation. It will call for some sacrifices and they generally need to be made by whites who benefit the most from the privilege of the system and who need to express their willingness to take the first steps to show that they understand the new agreement and its call to reconciliation.

    http://goo.gl/z6uXX

    Why wouldn’t you want to go worship Jesus in a church like that? Doesn’t Jesus want you to reconcile with the Africanisms so that when they all reconvert back to Islam, change your church into a mosque, tell you that “We didn’t come here to America voluntarily, but God sent us here to take over everything” so that you can also throw your hands in the air and shout “frees at last, thank gawd awmightee, we’s be frees at last”?

    We’ve been to one of those new, fast growing nondenominational churches. Essentially a rock concert with some Bible talk, and lots of hideous and pernicious Diversity. We didn’t go back.

    Kinism is the only safe denomination for White Humanity now. It’s essentially the Calvinist model applied to White Privilege. (The least Calvinistic is the wonderful http://cambriawillnotyield.blogspot.com/. He posts new every Sat. morning. We know he’s popular with lots of AmReners.)

    White Anglicans have nowhere else to go, despite the Calvinism. The Anglican Church is swarming in Africanism bishops in purple shirts putting their “stinking paws” on the angelic heads of beautiful little White children during baptism and confirmation.

    More than ever, we need that good old time religion-

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i-6L_hT3QtQ

    Did you hear what happend at Univ. of Ga.? They acutally gave the Diversity Award to a black girl from Ethiopia named “Negga”. It’s true.

  • A Comment from Australia

    A worrying aspect of this report is, if I read it correctly, is that it includes Muslims attending their place of worship as part of the overall “Church attendance trends”

  • Sureesh

    It amazes me that white nationalists can embrace Christianity the way that they do. Atheism makes more sense- think Darwin and the Survival of the Fittest.

    BTW- Did you know that there are very few Black atheists because atheism requires a high IQ? If you want to avoid Blacks, join an atheist community- you’ll definitely deal with nonwhites, but mostly of the South Asian and East Asian variety.

  • CDE

    This should not be mistaken to mean that Americans are beoming less God fearing. Many people I know (myself included) have left some of the main denominations due to their increasing acceptance of homosexuality and illegal immigration. I stay home and read the Bible and pray. I will not ever contribute to a church that accepts homosexuality, ordains women, and makes excuses for illegal immigrants.

  • Wayne Engle

    As this article is from the ultra-left Huffington Post, it should be taken with a pound or two of salt. Liberals love to portray religion — by which they always mean “Christianity” — as steadily dwindling away, reduced to a Sunday morning outing for a few old grayheads. That isn’t necessarily so — not at all.

    I notice that there was little or no breakdown of the churches of Christendom by denomination. What of the Roman Catholics? The Eastern Orthodox? The Mormons? The writer seemed to be interested only in depicting shrinking, graying mainline Protestant congregations. They are, indeed, shrinking — partly because their message has become so much mush. But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t millions of Christians — many of them young ones, too — who aren’t enthusiastically involved with their faith, whatever denomination it is. All the “hiving off” that Protestants have done since 1517 has been a weakness — but also a strength. Because those who have not been satisfied with the church they are in, have formed a new one — usually with a stricter, more emotional commitment to their faith than the existing one had come to have.

  • Anonymous

    Here’s another GOOD headline for race realism.

    Churches have been crumbling amid the decadent, liberal hogwash they spewed forth .

    Nobody is really buying it anymore.

    The fire has gone out.

    Hello?

    That means whites are abandoning the forty year old liberal multicult crusade.

    This is our time.

    Do something positive. Even if it is to speak up frankly, without malice, but without flinching, DO IT!

    You may find the liberal (or fence-sittting) whites you speak the truth to, are brain- battered enough to let that message sink right in.

    I’m not joking here…whites are almost on the floor, battered by the forty year’s war on society, and abandoned by the sheer lunacy of it all, now broke and jobless.

    They’re waking up, too. Or at least they’re dazed enough to be ammenable to some realism.

    Give it to them in some way, a little bit each week. Big or small, just do it.

    Stop whining.

  • Eric

    Used to be a saying here in the South. The two most segregated times of the week are Saturday night and Sunday morning. It’ll always be true. Those are the only times that the government doesn’t intrude, yet.

  • sbuffalonative

    “…survey are based on responses from more than 11,000 Christian, Jewish and Muslim congregations in 2010 and more than 14,000 congregations in 2000.”

    While this article mentions Jewish and Muslim congregations once, it doesn’t report on the diversity found in synagogues and mosques. At the same time are multiple references to Evangelicals, Protestants, and Christians.

    Does anyone have any information on how diverse synagogues and mosques are?

  • ATBOTL

    This is a good thing. Christianity serves as a substitute for ethnic consciousness among many white Americans. All denominations are on the wrong side of racial and immigration issues.

  • Anonymous

    I notice considerable interest among whites in joining the various ethnic Eastern Orthodox churches. I attended a small OCA church in Denton, TX which has experienced phenomenal growth. Though the liturgy as given in English, the priest spoke Russian fluently. There was almost never a non-white face to be seen. Orthodoxy may also have an Ethiopian branch, but the different branches seem to keep to themselves. Works for me!

  • John Engelman

    Because church attendance correlates with support for the Republican Party, this trend probably benefits the Democrats.

  • Mark

    CDE, I’m an atheist, a homosexual, and a supporter of AmRen. I know there are others here like me.

  • John Engelman

    5 — CDE wrote at 8:15 PM on September 29:

    This should not be mistaken to mean that Americans are beoming less God fearing. Many people I know (myself included) have left some of the main denominations due to their increasing acceptance of homosexuality and illegal immigration. I stay home and read the Bible and pray. I will not ever contribute to a church that accepts homosexuality, ordains women, and makes excuses for illegal immigrants.

    ——

    There are plenty of churches that are not like that.

  • Anonymous

    “BTW- Did you know that there are very few Black atheists because atheism requires a high IQ? If you want to avoid Blacks, join an atheist community- you’ll definitely deal with nonwhites, but mostly of the South Asian and East Asian variety.”

    IQ is not intelligence and it is killing whites (and Japanese, and Singaporeans, and Koreans, and Persians, and Brahmin, and…). The greatest irony is that high IQ people need religion more than anyone else to survive; see Jews as the main example. It smooths out the quirks that come with IQ.

    Communism wants religion dead because it preserves the natural aristocracies of the world, against the mindless. It’s not an accident that Jews were one of the first groups to be attacked by the death cult.

  • olewhitelady

    #4 Sureesh:

    If people are true believers in Christianity (or any other religion), how can they “embrace” atheism? That would be as hypocritical as an atheist going to church for reasons of appearance.

    I’ve known one true atheist and several agnostic, leaning-atheist people in my life. They were all very intelligent, one extremely so. But I’ve known many very intelligent devout Christians, one of whom was born in India, by the way.

    I was brought up in a Baptist household and became a doubter during my early college years. But I refused to give in to my doubt. I studied the Bible and other ancient texts. I read many, many contemporary commentaries that examined Christian beliefs, both pro and con, some that probed the religion from a scientific standpoint. Now, I’m a confirmed Christian. But my atheist friend refuses to read anything that supports theism, let alone Christianity. He claims it’s a waste of time and bores him. He refuses to discuss the issue. (He also won’t discuss his knee-jerk, pro-homosexual stance, claiming that, in regard to gays, “I just don’t care.”) It seems that, in fact, he has CHOSEN atheism like a food in a deli.

  • Alexandra

    Racial separation is completely Biblical. I’m a “fundamentalist” Christian and I agree with most of what AmRen posts (obviously I believe evolution to be a load of nonsense).

    Problem is, a lot of professing (note the word PROFESSING) Christians don’t even know what their Bible says, or don’t care, or they’re told, oh, it’s just symbolic, whatever.

    I was in a gifted program in junior high, yet I’m a Christian. I have seen what they do in gifted classes…try to steer people to the left and make it sound like liberals are the intellectuals, and right-wing Christians are just gullible, superstitious sheep. (I use the terms “left” and “right” loosely, as I don’t care so much about right vs. left as right vs. wrong.)

  • Spartan24

    I am in a somewhat unique position to comment on diversity in both synagogue and mosque. As a naive and liberal young person I was a practicing Muslim briefly. The mosque consisted of central Asians, Arabs and a large contingent of Malaysians and Indonesians. The occasional white converts hung out with whatever group their spouse belonged to. The few blacks present were mostly African immigrants since the black converts went to a mosque on the far north side of town. Although they all attended services together the groups rarely socially interacted and often the larger Arab contingent would treat everyone else as if they were somewhat lesser.

    As to the synagogue- a few years ago a friend undertook a conversion and I went to a couple of classes with her. Surprisingly there were people from all over the world, even a few Asians. I would not have asked but I would assume that many were converts. I didn’t see any blacks but I remember a few years ago that Israel brought in a large group of Jews from Ethiopia. I don’t know if this really proves anything but there is at least some diversity in the other two groups noted. As to whether or not “diversity” would be pushed as hard as it is to Christians I can only speculate and say no.

  • Anonymous

    Sureesh

    IMO the church is dissatisfying because it has been subverted by Frankfurt school marxists not because Christ’s teachings are for the slow witted.

    Remember it was a christian peoples that turned your lot into a democratic country.

  • Anonymous

    -Sureesh

    “BTW- Did you know that there are very few Black atheists because atheism requires a high IQ? If you want to avoid Blacks, join an atheist community- you’ll definitely deal with nonwhites, but mostly of the South Asian and East Asian variety.”

    South Asian? India is 80.5% Hindu, and 13.4% Muslim.

  • Anonymous

    I have had it with American Christian Religion.

    Basically you have a) Christians. and b) Churchgoers.

    The two are not necessarily the same.

    1.) Basically they are afraid of hell and collecting brownie points for heaven.

    2.) Between the blooming liberals and the fundamental Christians, this country does not have a chance. God help us, we need it.

  • Anonymous

    “These congregations are disproportionately non-Christian”

    Muslim, buddihist, hindu? Why couldn’t these congregations be defined?

  • Anonymous

    4 — Sureesh wrote at 7:14 PM on September 29:

    “It amazes me that white nationalists can embrace Christianity the way that they do. Atheism makes more sense- think Darwin and the Survival of the Fittest.

    BTW- Did you know that there are very few Black atheists because atheism requires a high IQ? If you want to avoid Blacks, join an atheist community- you’ll definitely deal with nonwhites, but mostly of the South Asian and East Asian variety.”

    You are right, Sureesh. Huge, and the most critical swathes of knowledge must be ignored or all out abandoned in order to embrace any religion, but especially Christianity. Why, because not only does it promote the most illogical and unlikely set of events as fact, ignoring their pre-existence in predecessor religion and mythology, they claim it is historical fact.

    The only reason that anyone, especially whites who lean to national and racial survival sympathies continue to embrace Christianity is because they were brainwashed into it as children and lack both intellectual and social courage to reject it, although many of our greatest intellectuals for centuries have been doing so, in fact many of the same ones that white race realists point to as examples of our greatness.

    16 — olewhitelady wrote at 8:55 AM on September 30:

    #4 Sureesh:

    “If people are true believers in Christianity (or any other religion), how can they “embrace” atheism? That would be as hypocritical as an atheist going to church for reasons of appearance.

    ….. It seems that, in fact, he has CHOSEN atheism like a food in a deli. ”

    I think you are being disingenuous. No one who honestly and objectively reviewed the available historical and archeological evidence, especially using the critical approach rather than one looking for empty spots for insertions of belief, can come to the conclusion you seem to have by confirming your childhood indoctrination. A real atheist simply acknowledges the dearth of logic in religion and the overwhelming evidence that it is humans that invent these notions, and for the reason that our brains tend to crave a source of ultimate authority. A good little book was written about it years ago called, “The God Part of the Brain.” then of course, there is the voluminous history of Christianity’s acts in Europe which include the ordering of deaths of likely millions over a thousand years as heretics, witches, etc., and the seeming endless European civil wars over its very earthly aims of asserting itself on land and in the acquisition of wealth. Christianity promised to “set son against father, and brother against brother,” and it has certainly done that since its start. Yes, Islam needs to be defeated, but we won’t succeed using a religion that more than anything tells its followers to be sheep, turn the cheek, love your enemies, etc. You must go a long ways in denial to claim to be a Christian and not acknowledge the intention or its creators to rule over nations of people told to be “as children.” Remember, Christianity fought to deny the white European the ability to read. Then, it sought to outlaw the printing press and the printing of the Bible. Ever ask yourself why?

    As a real atheist, I can tell you that it is painful to be one, socially. It requires a lot of nerve to go against the majority when it comes to this. When I departed Christianity, I did so after studying the Bible using the traditional King James version, other new translations, and Dakes Annotated Bible. Then I understood the impossibility of it from reading its own texts. I spent years and years studying related history and the subject still fascinates me. So does the mechanism of psychology that so often compels seemingly otherwise intelligent people to actually claim to believe and live by such nonsense, and now especially why a white race realist, REALIST, would continue to adhere, often fervently, to such a self-destructive outlook. One major conclusion I have come to is that most people today, and for a long time, do it for a sense of community. Christianity took over the role of the community in Europe. Of course, this is one reason why we find many churches where races are segregated. That fact rather proves the impossibility of the Christian drive for worldwide inclusion. And there is no denying that is what it is about. This is why sects like the Calvinists failed. The notion of Christian exclusiveness will always fail because it is anti-scriptural and so contradictory to the core of the Christian message.

    Christianity was a belief system imported into Europe by Jews (yes, Paul was a Jew) and then the Romans via the new Roman Empire. It was no secret and one Pope (Boniface)in the 1299th century actually titled himself “Caesar” upon the 1,000 year jubilee of the establishment of the Church of Rome. What they sought to displace and the people they wised to cow and dominate had cultures and traditions that extended thousands of years into its past.

    Christianity destroyed physical records and rewrote the ones they couldn’t silence (Beowulf, The legends of the Nibelung (cave dwelling people who vanished, reminds us now of the systems of prehistoric caves recently found in Europe). The fact that some recollections and practices never quite died out and have become popular to a degree is a kind of witness to the depth of their validity in the genetic memory of Europeans. Recognizing a need for community, this atheist knows that humans, even whites, require some form of ritual based spirituality in order to sense themselves as whole and belonging. This is why I have for a long time, advocated a new race based philosophy that uses the common sense connection to the lands that we are traditionally and spiritually bound. This is why some of the old pre-Christian traditions like the observances of the seasons with a agrarian orientation seems a very good idea, because it even makes some scientific sense. This is why Asatru is so attractive to me and a growing number of whites who want to be able to have a community that is focused how who and what they are in the longest traditions of the European experience. It also strikes me that this is a whites only group that exists, but hasn’t yet been attacked as racist or nationalist. (That doesn’t mean it won’t be).

    I hope Amren will deem this worthy of posting. What we need this some innovative thinking, not a return to the same contradictions that seem only to give our detractors ample loads of ammunition against us as hypocrites and easily exposed frauds.

  • Anonymous

    I spent several hours yesterday, Rosh Hashanah listening to liberal pro gay marriage but mostly pro illegal immigration sermons at my Temple.

    I refuse to become someone whose Judiasm consists of an ethnic last name. The orthodox lifestyle is not for me. So I will keep my Temple membership.

    This rush to every radical and liberal cause instead of real religion is not limited to Christian Churches.

    Even on Rosh Hashanah, an ancient ritual with lengthy readings of the Torah, Shofar blowings and all sorts of additional prayers the clergy of America just cannot get away from their mission to shove the latest causes down our throats.

    A Temple membership gets me several Jewish magazines and newspapers. They seem to feature nothing but women Rabbis, Cantors, religious instruction directors on and on. Gay marriage is another cause being pushed by these publications.

    I’ll have to go to another propaganda session disguised as a High Holy Day 2 weeks from now. Not looking forward to it.

  • Anonymous

    “Remember, Christianity fought to deny the white European the ability to read. Then, it sought to outlaw the printing press and the printing of the Bible. Ever ask yourself why? ”

    That is not true and you know it. You must have taken one of those women’s studies courses in college that consisted of nothing but rants against men and Western Civilization

    The medieval and early modern Christian churches had schools at every parish level, established schools for nuns, priests and monks and created the university. The very first book printed in Europe was a Bible. Guttenberg was a practicing Catholic.

    Reading and basic literacy was very widespread in medieval Europe, far more widespread among the average people than among the average people of China, India and the Middle East.

    Before the invention of printing the monasteries published numerous books for the common people. They laboriously cut out wood blocks with a picture and a paragraph telling a story.

    They pressed the blocks in ink, pressed the block on paper and sewed the pages together to make books.

    Do you know who discarded the Greco-Roman method of keeping the written word on scrolls? The early Christian fathers ca. 300 AD. They invented the paragraph, the chapter, the index and the table of contents. They made the most important change, from scrolls to pages sewn into books.

    Read a bit about the monastic and Vatican libraries. Read a bit about the medieval libraries all over Europe. Stop denying that every European University of the medieval and early modern period grew out of monastic and seminary libraries and schools.

    When you that read Oxford, Sorbonne, Salerno, or any other medieval university was established at a certain date realize that those universities had functioned as church schools for centuries before.

    The only European ruler, secular or religious who ever forbade the reading of the Bible was Henry VIII, a few years before he died.

    Somebody’s been reading the more insane rantings of John Knox and the latest women’s studies propaganda.

    Women’s studies usually go on and on about Haroun Al Rashid calipa of Bagdad ca 900 who “discovered” ancient Greek documents. Not exactly true. All Al Rashid did was to subsidize the scholars who had been doing it for centuries.

    Those scholars were Christian Syrian monks. Their monastery preserved an ancient Greek library dating from the time Of Alexander the Great’s conquest of the area 1200 years before Haroun al Rashid.

    Be a pagan or Wiccan if you want. But Western Civilization is a combination of Greek thought, Roman organization, N. European religion and the Christian religion.

    Western civilization is all the White race has.

  • Ray of Western New York

    We as whites and particularly white Christians (Protestants, Catholics, Mormons etc.) enter a perilous time. As our numbers dwindle compared to all the other groups we may be about to enter a time of re-enlightenment, a time when white Christians realize their culture, their extended families and yes their religions (denominations) can only continue to exist with a concerted effort to restore traditions, values and reverse both Liberal thought and practice that has crept over the historically white lands since the American Civil War. Lincoln, as it was reported did not become a practicing Christian until after he saw the dead lying on Gettysburg’s battlefield. Maybe the real story or the untold story is how America has singlehandedly did its best to destroy all things white via Constitutional amendments, civil rights laws, League of Nations and UN creation and membership, etc. Now the irony is America itself, it’s form of government, economy and its heartland citizens are on the ropes due to multiculturalism, internationalism, decadence and decay. May God begin to bless America again through enlightened leadership and a moral, sober populace. Amen!

  • Paleface 6

    “But there are also “pockets of vitality,” including an increase in minority congregations and a surge in election-related activities at evangelical congregations.” (Emphasis added.)

    If this is true, they need to have their tax-exempt status revoked. I see no reason for them to use the pulpit as a shield for treason.

  • Anonymous

    2 — Anonymous wrote at 6:56 PM on September 29:

    This is what you get in mainline churches today, such as Episcopalian:

    Paul told the Ephesians that “they come before God without fear,” and these words can help anyone who is trying to pay attention to the call upon their life to build bridges. This work cannot be done without going before God. It is not easy to cross cultural and racial borders that have never been crossed before and to begin to forge new relationships across major differences. But the understanding of God’s support in this matter will be the source of the courage that is needed to take such steps. It seems rather clear that white churches will stay white and black churches will stay black until there is a recommitment to the task of adhering to God’s will for reconciliation. It will call for some sacrifices and they generally need to be made by whites who benefit the most from the privilege of the system and who need to express their willingness to take the first steps to show that they understand the new agreement and its call to reconciliation.

    http://goo.gl/z6uXX

    Why wouldn’t you want to go worship Jesus in a church like that? Doesn’t Jesus want you to reconcile with the Africanisms so that when they all reconvert back to Islam, change your church into a mosque, tell you that “We didn’t come here to America voluntarily, but God sent us here to take over everything” so that you can also throw your hands in the air and shout “frees at last, thank gawd awmightee, we’s be frees at last”?

    We’ve been to one of those new, fast growing nondenominational churches. Essentially a rock concert with some Bible talk, and lots of hideous and pernicious Diversity. We didn’t go back.

    Kinism is the only safe denomination for White Humanity now. It’s essentially the Calvinist model applied to White Privilege. (The least Calvinistic is the wonderful http://cambriawillnotyield.blogspot.com/. He posts new every Sat. morning. We know he’s popular with lots of AmReners.)

    White Anglicans have nowhere else to go, despite the Calvinism. The Anglican Church is swarming in Africanism bishops in purple shirts putting their “stinking paws” on the angelic heads of beautiful little White children during baptism and confirmation.

    More than ever, we need that good old time religion-

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i-6L_hT3QtQ

    Did you hear what happend at Univ. of Ga.? They acutally gave the Diversity Award to a black girl from Ethiopia named “Negga”. It’s true.

    ————————————

    You are totally correct. I love the link you provided, the cambria one. Wish more amreners would read that blog.

    Makes total sense compared to the watered down, all inclusive, all races are equal, love everybody, Christianity we get today. It is NOT the Christianity of old, that is for sure.

  • Anonymous

    17 — Alexandra wrote at 10:37 AM on September 30:

    Racial separation is completely Biblical. I’m a “fundamentalist” Christian and I agree with most of what AmRen posts (obviously I believe evolution to be a load of nonsense).

    Problem is, a lot of professing (note the word PROFESSING) Christians don’t even know what their Bible says, or don’t care, or they’re told, oh, it’s just symbolic, whatever.

    ———————————————

    You are right! Try telling the mainstream Christians of today that racial separation is biblical. Most Christians listen to their pastors, their TV evangelist and Christian radio and let them tell them how to think. That is their Bible. The REAL Bible is just to hard for them to decipher and to understand what it really means and to whom it was written. Even though Genesis tells us these facts. They think every race came from Adam and Eve and Noah. How sad and pathetic.