United States Population and Religion

In the 1st Amendment to the Bill of Rights, the constitution guarantees freedom of religion and excludes a state religion or the privilege of a certain religious community on the part of the state. The fundamental principle of strict separation of church and state is one of the fundamental constitutional articles in the US constitution. The original religious activities of the religious communities are financed exclusively through voluntary contributions from their members.

Official counts of religious affiliation do not take place. Neutral data are provided by surveys by non-governmental organizations (Pew Research Center and others), the results of which differ from one another in some cases. According to this, around 71–78% of all respondents describe themselves as Christians (including special religious communities with reference to Christianity such as Mormons [around 1.7%] and Jehovah’s Witnesses [approx. 0.8%]). From a denominational point of view, the USA has been a country strongly influenced by (post-) Reformation since its foundation – today with an estimated population of around 46–51% Protestants. The largest Christian denomination, however, is the Catholic Church (including members of Eastern Catholic Churches), to which about 21-24% of the population belong. The Orthodox Christians (less than 1%) can be added to three roughly equal parts of the Greek Orthodox or Russian Orthodox Church and Eastern Eastern Churches. According to the church itself, around 0.6% Anglicans belong to the Protestant Episcopal Church. About 15% of the Protestants are the liberal white “mainline Protestants” (especially Methodists, Lutherans, Presbyterians, Congregationalists), more than 25% are evangelical Protestants (especially Pentecostals and Baptists) and see themselves as “born again Christians”, over 6% of the population belong to the “black churches”.

The Protestant denominations with the largest number of members are (according to the respective organization; usually based on baptized members) the Southern Baptist Convention (around 16 million), the United Methodist Church (around 7.7 million), the National Baptist Convention of the USA (around 7.5 million), the Pentecostal Church of God in Christ (over 6 million), the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (around 3.8 million), the African Methodist Episcopal Church (around 2.5 million) Million), the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (approx. 2.3 million; Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod) and the Presbyterian Church, USA (less than 1.8 million). The smaller Christian communities include Mennonites (including the Amish) and Hutterites. In total, the Encyclopedia of American religions lists over 1,300 Christian denominations and religious communities with a Christian background. Special features of Christian-motivated religious life and related (socio-political) activities in the USA are made up of the numerous, often » Protestant-fundamentalist « radio programs (TV church), since the 1970s so-called megachurches with regularly several thousand people attending church services and conservative Protestant gathering movements like Moral Majority and Christian Coalition.

According to transporthint, the largest number of non-Christian religious communities are the Jews (around 1.7–2.6% of the population). The centers of Jewish life are New York (approx. 1.7–2 million Jewish residents), Los Angeles (approx. 490,000–660,000), Miami (approx. 340,000–540,000), Philadelphia (approx. 250,000–290,000), Chicago (around 250,000), Boston and San Francisco (each over 200,000) and the Baltimore-Washington Metropolitan Area (around 165,000–280,000). There are reform Jewish, conservative and Orthodox communities as well as communities that are connected to the religious direction of reconstructionism that emerged in the USA. New York is the spiritual center of the Lubavitch Hasidic Congregation, the most influential movement in Hasidism today. The first Jewish settlers in what is now the United States settled in New Amsterdam in 1654, later New York (where a Jewish community was founded around 1706); the first Jewish church was planted in 1658 in Newport, Rhode Island.

Religious statistics publications show the proportion of the population of Muslims at around 0.6–0.9% in over 1,200 mosque communities. All law schools are represented among them. For decades, the Black Muslim movement was of great importance among African American Muslims. Other non-Christian religious minorities are the Buddhists (around 0.7–1.2% of the population), Hindus (around 0.7% of the population), Bahais and Sikhs.

Of the new religious communities, the Mormons (over 5.3 million residents), the Jehovah’s Witnesses (around 2.2 million), the Church of Christ, Scientist (Christian Science) and the Scientology ® Church, whose centers are centered, areparticularly noteworthy are located in the United States.

There is a strong movement among the Indians to return to the roots, values ​​and (religious) ideas of their own culture. American Indian churches were formed as early as the 19th century (around 20 today, including the Native American Church of North America, Peyotekult), whose beliefs and forms of worship combine Christian and Indian religious ideas. Many Inuit and Aleutians are – as a result of the earlier Russian mission – Orthodox Christians, although traditional beliefs still live among them.

United States Population and Religion