More Religion In America

For The CRG Created For The CRG
Keeping an Anti-Racism Focus

As 2021 unfolds, events in the public arena once again demonstrate the dehumanizing reality of racism.  

The existence of racism is a grievous fact. For people of color, racism is pervasive.  This pervasiveness is evident in every aspect of life, including the life of congregations.  

Yet, congregations of color represent resilient strength with robust voices and true hearts. The Center for Congregations learns each time testimonies and stories of such strength are shared.  

Many white congregations are seeking resources about anti-racism. There is the desire to listen, learn and become allies. The Center is committed to connecting congregations to resources that will support learning journeys leading to a more just world.   

Here is a link to additional anti-racism resources.  You will find even more as you search the CRG.   

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The Sound of the Genuine: Traversing 2020 with Howard Thurman
In this podcast episode, Rev. Otis Moss III connects Howard Thurman's theology and mysticism with current U.S. race relations.
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Interfaith Responses to Racism
This website shares sacred texts that denounce racism from multiple faith traditions.
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Vaccination Sites Opening at African-American Churches
This article outlines how churches are distributing the COVID-19 vaccine.
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Strategies for Educating African American Adults
This engaging, challenging, and practical book equips Christians to teach, learn, and prepare for effective ministry in the African American church and community.
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Megachurch 2020: The Changing Reality in America's Largest Churches
Megachurches set positive precedents in many important areas of faith development and their leaders set trends for church leaders in all size congregations. This study reviews the trends in megachurch development.
For The CRG Created For The CRG
After the Election

The 2020 election is just days away. The CRG has provided resources to keep congregations informed of how they can navigate the stresses of dealing with contentious politics in and around their communities. But what about after the election? What about the possible conflicts that may arise as a result of the election? 

Auburn Seminary hosted a multi-faith conversation entitled, “Faith Leaders Call for Moral Courage Now” with Auburn President, Rev. Dr. Katharine Rhodes Henderson, along with Dr. Keisha McKenzie and Dr. Sharon Groves from Auburn’s program team, in conversation with Auburn Senior Fellows Stosh Cotler (CEO, Bend the Arc) and Rev. Brian McLaren (Activist and Public Theologian).

Watch as these five faith and justice leaders discuss how they prepared for the 2020 election and for its possible aftermath. What will our responses communicate to the world about who we are? How will we leverage the outcome of the election to build a better world? Will relationships and trust really help create change and if so, how can our congregation do the work

Click here to visit this resource

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2020 Election: Faith Leaders Call for Moral Courage
This panel encourages clergy to be community leaders beyond the 2020 election for the moral good of society.
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Jesus and the Disinherited
As we struggle today with poverty, racism, and spiritual disengagement, this book is a compassionate message of renewal through self-love as exemplified by Jesus' life.
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Religion: What It Is, How It Works, and Why It Matters
This book provides an updated definition of religion, distinguished from older, outdated models. Smith examines the power of religion in individuals and society with the final chapter addresses the question "What will be the fate of religion in the future?"
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Black Church 75 Inc.
This organization encourages registration and voter turnout from Black churches.
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Vote Fielmente: útiles de participación electoral
La guía provee información y herramientos para inscribirse y promover el derecho al voto.

Religion In America

There are many issues which are unique to the United States. Many people who live in the U.S. are looking to create a brighter future and are struggling to address issues like racism, healthcare, education, and poverty. With the rising cost of living, some families within congregations are concerned that they might not always be able to make ends meet. This is why it would likely be beneficial for the leaders of congregations, churches, synagogues, temples and parishes across the USA to better understand these issues. The CRG is a great tool to help equip leaders of congregations with the right resources so they can begin addressing these issues and lead their congregations in the right direction.

A lot of people attend regular devotional meetings that speak on a variety of topics, including some of those mentioned above. There are also resources for study groups and programs available to individuals who would like to take a closer look at what religious texts have to say about some of these issues. Many local congregations will also set up outreach trips on a regular basis, enabling them to learn about and gain more insight into these issues by meeting with other congregations, serving the community, and reaching out for assistance. These are just a few of the many helpful resources available to religious congregations in the United States.

Largest Religion in the World

Those seeking resources for their local congregations may want to look at the religious landscape today. It can be extremely illuminating to take a closer look at the viewpoints of some of the world's largest religious groups. The largest religion in the world is Christianity, making up just over 30% of the population - therefore truly making it a religion which transcends international boundaries, impacting people all over the world without the need for translation. However, Christianity can also take many different shapes and forms, depending on the country in which you are located.

Christianity in the United States may not necessarily look the same as it does in another part of the world; Asians who practice this religion may practice it differently than Europeans. There are also those who practice this religion in Africa, where their traditions might be a little bit different. For this reason, it can be very helpful for congregations to understand and consider that there are different sects which make up Christianity, such as Protestantism, Catholicism and a number of other smaller groups. With this in mind, it can be good to try and view a particular religious congregation through the eyes of its geographical location. After all, many people tailor their faith to meet the unique challenges, opportunities and problems they are facing in their country.

Congregational leaders can learn greatly from viewing their own individual religion through the lense of their country, region, culture, denomination and more. Once they’ve discovered this information, they will be better able to understand why people believe what they do. Every country is a little bit different, and they are all facing different problems.

What Is the Fastest Growing Religion in the United States?

While there is a concern in some parts of the world that religion may be fading, the vast majority of religions are in fact still growing - and this is just as true in the United States as it is anywhere else. According to published records, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the fastest-growing religion in the United States, with its membership continuing to grow each decade since the beginning of the 1830s. It is also one of the top 10 largest Christian denominations in America; and in 2012, it was listed as the fastest-growing denomination in America.

Evangelical Protestantism is a dynamic religious movement, and between the years of 1960 and 2000, the number of reported evangelicals grew at three times the average rate of the world's population over that time span. Furthermore, it was also growing twice as quickly as the religion of Islam.

US Religion Statistics

Let’s look at some of the statistics regarding religion in the United States. According to Pew Research Forum, close to 70%of those in the United States follow Christianity.

About 25% of religious people in the United States identify as Evangelical Protestants;. close to 20% call themselves Catholics; and some of the other commonly-represented religions include mainline Protestants, Historically Black Protestants, Mormons, and Orthodox Christians. Of those remaining, about 22% of individuals report that they do not associate themselves with a mainline religious group; and the remaining 8% follow a different religion. The other world religions that are most identified in the United States include Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism. These faith statistics can provide key information for congregational leaders.

Naturally, this is only a brief overview of religious statistics in the United States. There are many people in the U.S. looking for spiritual guidance, a religious community, an outlet for charitable works, or to hear the word of one of these major religions. People often turn to religious groups for help, and this is an opportunity for religious leaders to hear these needs and help. These resources can help leaders place themselves into a position to also be heard by those who need them.

Religion and Politics

The relationship of religion and politics is often a divisive issue. The Constitution of the United States requires a separation of church and state, meaning that church organizations are not in control of the United States government - and in turn, the government is not able to tax religious organizations.

Congregational leaders are in a unique position to encourage conversations, healthy dialogue and offer respect for differing opinions. The same extends to discussing and engaging in political exchange within the congregation. Religious leaders can act as helpful guides to differing opinions about religion and politics in America.

It may also be useful for religious leaders to be aware of what is going on in the current political environment of the United States and across the globe, and then find ways in which they can bring people together and find common ground. They can facilitate interactive discussion and encourage caring, kindness and tolerance, as well as provide helpful information for navigating the current problems of the world.

Religious Trends in the United States

While there may seem to be some cause for concern regarding religious trends in the U.S., the good news is that religion is alive and well in this country. Congregations are very healthy, with good leadership, and there are numerous opportunities and valuable resources available for religious leaders to amplify their messages, find new people and welcome them into their congregations.

Pastors, clergy, rabbis, imams, priests and ministers can all be relevant, innovative and inspirational, encouraging healthy conversations, caring community and outreach to those in need.

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