Monday, May 18, 2009

Losing religion?

From North Carolina-

Nearly three million Americans are now aligning themselves with other religious movements, such as New Age and Wicca. And the number of self-declared Muslims has doubled over the last two decades from .3 to .6 percent.

Bishop Michael Curry of North Carolina's Episcopal Diocese says America is going through a cultural change.

"I would argue that people are more profoundly religious and expressing it, but it's coming out in new ways," he said. "You hear it in language about 'spirituality.' You may not hear it as consistently in terms of institutional religion, but the spiritual quest (is there), the hunger."

To feed that hunger, the Episcopal Diocese has launched a new ad campaign to help attract worshippers, particularly younger ones.

Duke's Professor Chaves says the numbers should be kept in context.

"It doesn't mean that there are fewer people attending religious services, going to church," he said. "Religious attendance is only slightly down or stable over the same period of time. What's happening is that more people who were probably already religiously inactive but still says, 'I'm Catholic, or I'm Baptist, or I'm Methodist, more of those people are now say 'I'm nothing'."

At Durham's New Hope Church, there's no shortage of enthusiastic worshippers.

In seven years, the congregation has grown from just the pastor's immediate family to more than 1,500 who come for Sunday services. With its Christian rock music and stage lights, New Hope's style is non-traditional to say the least.

More here-

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