One of our latest dataset is religious adherence, which contains rates of adherence by denomination and counts of denominations. We wanted to spotlight the Glenmary Research Center for providing such a great dataset.
Glenmary Home Missioners are a Roman Catholic society of priests and brothers who, along with coworkers, is dedicated to serving the spiritual and material needs of people throughout Appalachia, the South and Southwest. This ministry is concentrated exclusively within the United States and dedicated to bringing the Catholic Church to people who live in the small towns and rural areas of our nation.
Glenmary serves the Catholic minority, by establishing a Church presence in areas where less than three percent of the total population is Catholic. Through outreach to the unchurched and testifying to the Catholic Faith in mission regions where a significant percent of the people have no church affiliation, it brings Christ’s presence to the poor, through outreach and work for social justice in counties where the poverty level is almost twice the national average.
For over 70 years, Glenmary has established and returned over 100 missions through the generosity of its donors. In support of these efforts, the Glenmary Research Center, along with other religious denominations, gathers Church membership data in consideration of accepting a specific geographic area for Church development. This collaboration with other religious organizations compiles county-specific Church membership information every ten years to coincide with the US decennial census.
Religious Congregations and Membership, 2000 (RCMS 2000) contains statistics for 149 religious bodies, providing information on the number of their congregations within each region, state and county of the United States. Participants included 139 Christian denominations, associations or communions (including Latter-Day Saints and Unitarian/Universalist groups); two specially defined groups of independent Christian Churches; Jewish and Islamic totals, and counts of temples for six Eastern religions.
An invitation to participate in the study was sent to every U. S. religious body listed in the Yearbook of American and Canadian Churches. In addition, efforts were made to identify and gather data from large independent congregations. As a result of these efforts, which extended over a two year period, 285 groups were invited, 149 participated, 22 expressed the intention to participate but were unable to do so, 12 declined to participate and 102 did not respond. The 149 groups that furnished data reported 268,254 congregations with 141,371,963 adherents.
Most large Protestant denominations maintain national offices that receive statistical reports from their individual congregations; these reports were used to provide county membership figures for this study. On the other hand, many smaller groups, as well as those in which local congregations have a great deal of autonomy, only request and do not require such reports. This means that data for several groups is not as complete and current as might be desired.
Click on www.glenmary.org for further information.