Mormon Growth: Myth or Fact?

According to the latest data from the Association of Statisticians of American Religious Bodies (ASARB) U.S. Mormon growth rose 45.5% "jumping from 4.2 million in 2000 to 6.1 million in 2010."  This incredible growth does not accurately reflect the growth in adherents during the last decade; it reflects a change in the data being reported.  More specifically, ASARB tracks self-reported data given to them by some 153 bodies. What happened? In 2000 Mormons reported 4.2 million, a number Read More …

The Church in 2020 – Major Changes Ahead

I have spent a considerable amount of time studying the landscape of American Christianity since the 1950s.  Any time I make a presentation on the topic, people always ask about the future.  In order to more fully answer those questions I devised a list of changes I believe to be most likely.  The original list was created in 2006, before I entered the blogosphere. When I revised the list and turned it into a "top ten" in 2009, I published it on my blog.  In light of significant changes in Read More …

Mosques in America Growing Rapidly

The number of mosques in America is growing rapidly.  Lauren Markoe's Religion News Service article explores the recent growth through the lens of  "The American Mosque 2011,"  a recently released report that overviews the findings of a survey produced by "a coalition of Islamic civic groups and Muslim and non-Muslim religion scholars."  Notably: Total number of mosques: 2016 Growth in number of mosques since 2000: 74% Most mosques take an approach that is other than literal "see the Read More …

American Religion from 1970 to 2010

America is a rather religious country.  The chart below (Religions of the World, p. 3002) provides an overview of American religion in 1970 and in 2010 alongside data about what percentage of the population each group comprised in 2010 and the annual growth rate for each during the most recent decade.   So What? Despite the increases in religious pluralism, more than 4 in 5 Americans were Christian in 2010. Are you surprised to learn that Protestants declined in total Read More …

Should Clergy-Scholars Lead the Church?

Donald Miller is the author of several books including A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: What I Learned While Editing my Life (2009) and Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality (2003).  To connect with him,  read his blog, like him on Facebook, or follow him on Twitter. Earlier this month he posted, "Should the Church be Led by Teachers and Scholars?"  In the article he questions the centuries old norm of the church being led by clergy scholars who possess academic Read More …