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U.S. Congregations:
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Characteristics of U.S. Congregations, by Faith Group -- Part 1


Catholic
Churches
Mainline
Protestant
Churches
Conservative
Protestant
Churches
Historically
Black
Churches

Other
Congregations

All
Congregations
Facilities:
Primary worship service held in a church, synagogue, or temple 98% 92% 94% 100% 14% 91%
Congregation or denomination owns building 100% 94% 93% 100% 100% 94%
Facilities used/rented by community groups at least weekly 42% 62% 18% 0% 87% 39%
Affiliation:
Affiliated with denomination, convention, or
association of congregations
100% 96% 78% 100% 100% 89%
Provide religious education classes:
For children (<12) 98% 91% 90% 100% 100% 92%
For youth (12-18) 93% 79% 87% 100% 100% 85%
For adults 83% 84% 93% 100% 100% 89%
Technology:
Use internet or email to communicate with worshipers 30% 63% 36% 33% 13% 45%
Political orientation of congregation:
On conservative side 57% 40% 86% 38% 87% 64%
In the middle 31% 41% 13% 50% 7% 26%
On liberal side 11% 19% 1% 12% 7% 10%
Theological orientation of congregation:
On conservative side 32% 31% 88% 86% 87% 59%
In the middle 56% 46% 11% 14% 7% 29%
On liberal side 12% 24% 1% 0% 7% 11%
Financial situation:
Increasing financial base 19% 34% 29% 38% 0% 29%
Stable financial base 57% 38% 60% 62% 100% 53%
Declining financial base or seriously threatened 24% 28% 11% 0% 0% 19%

Characteristics of U.S. Congregations, by Faith Group -- Part 2
All figures are means.


Catholic
Churches
Mainline
Protestant
Churches
Conservative
Protestant
Churches
Historically
Black
Churches

Other
Congregations

All
Congregations
Age:
Year congregation was founded 1926 1890 1935 1902 1978 1917
Size:
Approximate seating capacity where worship is held 457 237 230 416 221 258
Average weekly worship attendance, 2000 715 127 120 225 53 186
Total number of people (children and adults) participating 836 213 141 257 156 244
Total number of children participating 226 62 49 80 86 73
Religious education classes:
Number of children (<12) participating 119 26 22 21 39 35
Number of youth (12-18) participating 56 13 14 18 20 19
Number of adults participating 17 28 46 43 33 35
Worship services:
Number of worship services offered each week 8.5 1.9 3.0 1.8 1.3 3.1
Strictness:
Number of prohibitions reported (Note 1.) 1.5 1.1 3.2 2.9 5.6 2.3
Congregational programs:
Number of outreach activities reported (Note 2.) 4.2 6.6 5.8 7.2 5.3 5.9
Number of community services reported (Note 3.) 7.4 5.4 2.9 6.9 4.8 4.5

Note 1. Nine possible prohibitions: homosexuality; cohabitation before marriage; gambling; alcohol; smoking; contributions; dancing; foods; dress, hairstyle, make-up (listed here in order from most often prohibited to least often prohibited).

Note 2. 14 possible outreach activities: encouraged people to invite others, letters sent to visitors, mailing flyers, newspaper/magazine ads, congregational website, telephone book ads, telephone visitors, neighborhood activity, visits with visitors, contact people new to the area, outreach event, radio/TV ads, recruitment committee, community survey (listed here in order from most common to least common overall).

Note 3. 23 possible community services: emergency relief, counseling/support groups, other social/recreational activities, health programs, other youth programs, arts/music, child care programs, other senior programs (not housing), sports, prison ministry, hobbies and crafts, other welfare/service activities, abuse/recovery programs, voter registration or education, housing for others (not seniors), social justice work, community organizing, elementary school, care for people with disabilities, immigrant support services, housing for seniors, help for unemployed, animal welfare or environmental activities (listed here in order from most common to least common overall).


Last modified October 21, 2002 by U.S. Congregations Home Page Manager