U. S. Religion Census results released
According to the findings of its 2010 U. S. Religion Census released last week, the Association of Statisticians of American Religious Bodies confirmed that Christians including Catholics, Southern Baptists and unaffiliated evangelicals continue to be the largest groups in each state. According to the study, the Roman Catholic Church maintained its position as the most populous church with about 59 million adherents. However, the study indicated the Church experienced a loss of approximately five percent of its membership. Specifically, that translates into a loss of approximately 250,000 members nationwide. Southern Baptists continued to occupy the second largest church group with unaffiliated evangelicals accounting for third place. The study indicated The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints gained the most regular members in the last 10 years. The church, whose followers are also known as Mormons, grew from about two-million worshipers in 2000 to about 6.14 million in 2010. The study also found a substantial growth of Islamic worshippers. There are presently about 2.6 million followers in the United States with 2,106 active mosques. Buddhist congregations are now present in each state, and Hindu houses of worship are represented in 49 states. This study is considered the most comprehensive analysis of existing religious groups in more than 60 years. The data was submitted by 236 religious bodies and the census was funded by a grant from the Lilly Foundation.