Thursday, May 03, 2012

Study: Mormonism is fastest-growing faith in half of USA

By Kevin Eckstrom
posted May 3, 2012

Mitt Romney may or may not become the first Mormon to move into the White House next year, but a new study shows that Mormonism is moving into more parts of the country than any other religious group, making it the fastest-growing faith in more than half of U.S. states.

The 2012 Religious Congregations and Membership Study,  released here Tuesday, shows that the mainline Protestants and Catholics who dominated the 20th century are literally losing ground to the rapid rise of Mormons and, increasingly, Muslims.

The study is conducted once every 10 years and can track Americans' religious affiliation down to the county level, from the largest (Los Angeles County, where Mormons grew 55% while Catholics shrank by 7%) to the smallest (Loving County, Texas, which is home to 80 people and one nondenominational evangelical church).

Romney's Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints reported 2 million new adherents and new congregations in 295 counties where they didn't exist a decade ago, making them the fastest-growing group in the U.S.

Mormons were the fastest-growing group in 26 states, expanding beyond their historic home in Utah to the heart of the Bible Belt and as far away as Maine.

Muslims came in second, with growth of 1 million adherents in 197 new counties, to a total of about 2.6 million. Overall, non-Christian groups grew by 32 percent over the past decade. the rest

Huffpo: Diversity Rising: Census Shows Mormons, Nondenominational Churches, Muslims Spreading Out Across U.S.
Consider these findings:
•Taken together, nondenominational and independent churches may now be considered the third largest religious group in the country, with 12.2 million adherents in 35,500 congregations. Only the Catholic Church and the Southern Baptist Convention are larger.
•The U.S. was home to 2,106 mosques nationwide in 2010. The figure includes 166 mosques in Texas, 118 in Florida and 50 Muslim houses of worship in North Carolina.
•Buddhist congregations were reported in all 50 states, and Hindu houses of worship in 49 states...


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