Protestant majority disappearing in U.S.


#1

Protestant Majority Disappearing in U.S.

…losing out largely to “no religion/former protestant” and “Christian.” Meanwhile the Catholic population percentage remains stable. More Orthodox & muslims also coming in.


#2

[quote=Esperanto99]Protestant Majority Disappearing in U.S.

…losing out largely to “no religion/former protestant” and “Christian.” Meanwhile the Catholic population percentage remains stable. More Orthodox & muslims also coming in.
[/quote]

IMO - this can best be traced to the decline in popularity among the mainline denoms and the corresponding growth in evangelical/charismatic groups who typically do not define themselves in terms of the older historical categories of protestant/catholic, but as “Christians” in the broad sense.

ken


#3

I briefly looked at Esperanto when in highschool. It was a noble effort, but it won’t catch on because it is heavily weighted towards Western languages and so will not be accepted by Easterners.

I wish that a true international language would take hold, but I don’t think this will be it for the reason given.

But here’s hoping that one day there won’t be the need to translate into so many different languages and that a person could truly go all over the world and communicate with people using one language.


#4

I heard this on the radio, too. The fact that Catholic numbers remained stable may be a bit misleading. Before they reported that 25% of respondents called themselves Catholic I had expected the number to increase because of Latin American immigration. I’m worried that the flat number may actually represent a large loss of “incumbent” Catholics in the US. I hope not!


#5

Of course the Latin American immigrants are going to play a major role in the redistribution of Christians in America. Many of them and many other Catholics are leaving the Catholic Church and most of them are joining Evangelical churches. But I’ve heard the rate of Catholics falling away to Protestantism, including Evangelicalism, is slowing.

I think there’s several reasons:

  1. People want a Christian faith that has some substance and familiarity. Americans are becoming tired of trendiness and the Catholic Church will look ever more attractive as this dynamic continues to change in our country.

  2. There is a growing interest among Protestants in the teachings of the early church fathers. Sometimes they discover how Catholic the church fathers really were and convert or revert to the Catholic faith.

  3. Catholic apologetics. The Church (largely in part laity) is more actively countering the distortions of Catholic teaching. People can hear from both side rather than just anti-Catholics.

  4. Many people leave the Catholic Church because they discover Christ elsewhere. Why? Maybe it’s because their Catholic parish is not active in living out the faith. No youth programs, outreach ministries, and evangelization programs. But guess what? That’s changing. The Church is waking up! Young Catholics won’t have to go else where to find out how to have a relationship with the Lord.

  5. Seminary training getting back to the basics and rediscovering the richness of 2000 years of Catholic truth. Young priests embracing orthodoxy. Some day they’ll be our bishops.

In the future, the challenge to the faith may well be secularism and new age more than it’ll be Protestantism. Catholics and Protestants will have to fight this culture of death together, instead of being divided. We may not have full communion, but we should at least be striving for greater unity.


#6

[quote=Charles]I heard this on the radio, too. The fact that Catholic numbers remained stable may be a bit misleading.
[/quote]

I think the other misleading part is that those who identify as merely “Christian” may actually include some Catholics, as well as non-denoms who continually trot out the same riffs about Mary, infallibility, the Inquisition etc. The latter should be called protestants.


#7

The news report I read indicated another reason to suspect the statistic about the number of Catholics remaining stable.

When members of other Christian denominations stop attending church, they will eventually stop identifying themselves as a member of that denomination. (Some will call themselves generic Christians, but many will say “none of the above.”)

Former-Catholics tend to perpetually identify themselves as Catholics, even when they don’t attend Mass, even when they vociferously disagree with the teachings of the Church, etc., because it’s part of their ethnic (Irish-Italian-Hispanic-Polish) heritage.


#8

What are the US catholic statistics btw? I’ve heard the usual 60-70 million total. I always assumed that included inactive Catholics as well as Puerto Rico and other territories, but one thing I came across was that the 60-70 million was the number of active catholics (inactive being some 20 million more), making the total 90 million.

And where does the 11 million former Catholic figure fit into all of this? It just seemed that the reason Protestant numbers stayed stable even with their lower birth rates was simply because they received the “excess” children of Catholics.

And then I saw Gerry Falwell mention that there were 80 million Evangelicals, some of them Catholics. Anyone know the breakdown of all these numbers?


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