U.S. Congregational Membership: Maps
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Congregational membership data are collected by representatives of the Association of Statisticians of American Religious Bodies (ASARB).


Notes:

*The "Unadjusted Totals" come from the 2000 adherent totals collected by representatives of the Association of Statisticians of American Religious Bodies (ASARB). While quite comprehensive, this data excludes most of the historically African-American denominations and some other major groups. As a result, these numbers will be an underestimate of the total adherence rate, particularly in areas with a large African-American population. The 2000 data included 149 religious groups and the final results are published in Religious Congregations and Membership in the United States 2000. Copyright 2002, All rights reserved. Published by Glenmary Research Center, 1312 Fifth Ave., North, Nashville, TN 37208. [More information on the data collection]

**The "Adjusted Totals" include all adherents in the denominations counted by the Association of Statisticians of American Religious Bodies (ASARB) and estimates adherent totals for the historically African-American denominations and other religious groups not listed in the ASARB totals. An article by Roger Finke and Christopher P. Scheitle (2005) reviews how these estimates were computed.

Evangelical Protestant denominations and churches emphasize conversion and evangelism, hold biblical authority in high regard and tend to seek more separation from the broader culture. Evangelical Protestantism is usually seen as more theologically and socially conservative than mainline Protestantism, although there is obviously variation among evangelical denominations, congregations and individuals. Evangelical Protestant denominations include the Southern Baptist Convention, Assemblies of God and the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

Mainline Protestant denominations typically emphasize a proactive view on issues of social and economic justice and a tolerance of varied individual beliefs. While mainline Protestantism is usually seen as more theologically and socially liberal than evangelical Protestantism, there obviously is variation among mainline denominations, congregations and individuals. Examples of Mainline Protestant denominations include the Presbyterian Church (USA), the United Methodist Church the Reformed Church in America, the Episcopal Church, the United Church of Christ and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Black Protestant churches are those that minister to predominantly African American congregations in the United States. The first black churches were founded by free blacks in the 18th century. Historically black churches have long been the centers of communities, serving numerous important functions. While the religious-meaning system and social organization of these denominations are similar to those found in white evangelical denominations, African American Protestants emphasize different aspects of Christian doctrine, especially the importance of freedom and the quest for justice. Black Protestants tend to be liberal on economic attitudes and conservative on social issues. The seven major Black Protestant denominations are: the African Methodist Episcopal Church, the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, the Church of God in Christ, the National Baptist Convention of America, the National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc. and the Progressive National Baptist Convention, Inc.

Orthodox Christianity represents one of the three great divisions of Christianity; the others are the Protestant churches and the Roman Catholic Church. The Catholic and Orthodox churches originally were united, but they parted in the 11th century, when they differed over several points of doctrine, including the supreme authority of the pope, which Orthodox Christians reject. Since the 20th century, the Catholic and Orthodox churches have made greater efforts toward reconciliation. Orthodox churches include the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America and the Orthodox Church in America.


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