2000 Glenmary Research Center Survey of Religious Congregations in America

Source: The Houston Chronicle

On September 28, 2002 The Houston Chronicle reported that “despite the difficulties of collecting data, the numbers in the census
released last week reveal the strength of religion county-by-county across
America. The report said that 141.3 million people, or 50.2 percent of the U.S.
population, were involved with churches, synagogues, mosques or temples. That
makes the United States one of the most religious nations in the world, said
Houseal, a statistician for the Church of the Nazarene. However, the number does not reflect the entire religious community. Eastern
religions and some major African-American denominations are not counted in the
study. Furthermore, substantial numbers of Americans who identify with
denominations do not affiliate with a local church. National surveys indicate
that only 7 percent of Americans describe themselves as having no religious
affiliation.”


2000 Glenmary Research Center Survey of Religious Congregations in America

Source: The Columbus Dispatch

On September 27, 2002 The Columbus Dispatch reported that “the [Glenmary] study estimates that Ohio has 142,255 Jews, 41,281 Muslims and 2,004
Bahais. It found 34 Buddhist, 19 Hindu, nine Sikh and seven Jain groups in the
state but gave no membership estimates… This year’s study included groups such as Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus and
Sikhs for the first time. For Muslims, the 1.6 million national figure included
only those who regularly attend mosques that reported figures; for Eastern
religions, it included only the number of worship groups.”


2000 Glenmary Research Center Survey of Religious Congregations in America

Source: The Associated Press

On September 22, 2002 The Associated Press reported that “Minnesota’s religious landscape became more diverse in the 1990s, although
the state remains mostly Lutheran and Catholic, according to a survey of U.S.
religious institutions. From 1990 to 2000, the state has seen double digit percentage increases for
Jews and the Latter-day Saints. Muslims were also counted in significant
numbers
for the first time. The research also found that Minnesota has more evangelical
Christians and fewer mainline Protestants… Minnesota is home to Buddhists, Jains,
Sikhs, Hindus, Taoists and Zoroastrians. But while religious activity is higher here (62 percent ascribe to a specific
faith) than the national norm (about 50 percent), it has dropped in Minnesota
over the past decade.”


2000 Glenmary Research Center Survey of Religious Congregations in America

Source: The San Francisco Chronicle

On September 21, 2002, The San Francisco Chronicle featured an article on the Glenmary study. “Nationally, the study reflected growing spiritual diversity in the United
States by including such once-exotic faiths as Islam, Buddhism and Zorastrianism
for the first time…
    But the way the study counted American Muslims – and did not include
millions of African American Christians – has sparked a statistical brouhaha… Researchers estimated Friday that the report, titled ‘Religious
Congregations and Membership in the United States 2000,’ does not include some 8
million black American Christians in such denominations as the National
Baptists, the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church and the Church of God in
Christ.” Details from the study can be found on the American Religion Data Archive Web site.


2000 Glenmary Research Center Survey of Religious Congregations in America

Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch

On September 20, 2002, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported on the inclusion of statistics on Muslims in America in the new Glenmary study. “Muslim leadership across the country provided an estimation of what
non-Muslims would call ‘mosque membership’ county by county across the nation…
   ‘It is good they are counting us, but we don’t even have memberships, all are
welcome at the mosques,’ said Imam Waheed Rana, a founder of the Islamic
Foundation of St. Louis.
   So, Muslim figures are labeled estimates throughout the study because most
mosques have no formal membership rolls… They do have buzz books, mainly of
mosque financial contributors and those who pray weekly at the mosques…
   The study reports 14,854 Muslims for the 12-county St. Louis metropolitan
area. The total is… [an] estimate of those who gather for prayer on Muslim
special holy days at the region’s four mosques, local Muslims said…
   Across the nation, the study counted 1.6 million Muslims. Estimates of
Islamic followers in this country by Muslim groups over the past year have swung
as high as 6 million. The study’s figure, based on the compilations of mosque
leaders, will undoubtedly upset some Muslims, who would want all Muslims… counted.”


2000 Glenmary Research Center Survey of Religious Congregations in America

Source: The Columbus Dispatch

On September 18, 2002 The Columbus Dispatch reported that “the survey, ‘Religious Congregations & Membership in the United States:
2000,’ found that Catholics, evangelical Protestants and Mormons are growing in
number both locally [in Ohio] and nationally, while more traditional Protestant
denominations often declined in the 1990s… The survey, a joint project of several religious-research groups, is
conducted every decade in the same year as the U.S. Census. It is widely
regarded as the leading national indicator of religious participation, a subject
the federal census does not address… The research included Muslims for the first time, and the report estimated
there were 6,150 in central Ohio in 2000. That is well below the 25,000-30,000
figure Muslim officials have offered…

   The survey’s national estimate for Muslims – 1.6 million – is being widely
rejected by Islamic groups, some of which accused the researchers of minimizing
Muslims’ numbers for political reasons…

   Kenneth Sanchagrin, director of the Glenmary Research Center, dismissed the
charge, saying, ‘There was no intention, desire, question of trying to distort
or fudge the data at all’…

   The Rev. Richard Houseal, a Church of the Nazarene official who helped
collect survey data, said estimates for Muslims included only those who
regularly attended mosques that reported membership figures.”


2000 Glenmary Research Center Survey of Religious Congregations in America

Source: The New York Times

On September 18, 2002, The New York Times reported on “the study, ‘Religious Congregations and Membership: 2000’… Because the Census Bureau does not ask about religion, some scholars regard
this study, first done in 1971, as the most comprehensive assessment available
of the changes in American religious affiliation. The study is based on
self-reporting by religious groups, a method that the study’s authors
acknowledge is imprecise because religious groups can inflate their numbers. The
study was conducted by Glenmary Research Center… The 2000 study is the first to include information on religious groups other
than Christians and Jews… The
numbers of Muslims and Jews reported in the survey could be misleading. The
estimate of Jews was 6.1 million, but the count included Jews who are
unaffiliated with synagogues – the only group in the survey to use identity and
not membership as its criteria in the count… The estimate of Muslims was 1.5 million, derived by counting the members
reported by a third of the nation’s 1,200 mosques, which often do not maintain
membership rolls. Because some Muslims are new immigrants and others are recent
converts, reliable estimates are difficult… The study’s number is far lower than
the seven million claimed by most American Muslim groups.”


2000 Glenmary Research Center Survey of Religious Congregations in America

Source: The Atlanta Journal and Constitution

On September 18, 2002 The Atlanta Journal and Constitution reported that “the number of Catholics in the Atlanta metro area more than doubled over the
last 10 years… And defying a national trend, most mainline Protestant denominations in the
area — such as United Methodist Church and Presbyterian Church (USA) —
gained members in the same time period… Southern Baptists held their No. 1 position in the South and in metro
Atlanta. However, the survey does not account for “Black Baptists,” which include
several large national groups and could total more than 8 million churchgoing
Americans — many of them in the South.”


2000 Glenmary Research Center Survey of Religious Congregations in America

Source: The Washington Post

September 17, 2002 The Washington Post reported that “according to ‘Religious Congregations & Membership: 2000,’ evangelical and charismatic churches drew larger numbers of believers during
the 1990s, locally as well as nationally, while mainline Protestant
denominations struggled to stem an exodus from their pews… The study, to be made public
this week, also attempted — for the first time in the 50 years that the census
has been done — to tally the number of Muslims in the United States. But the
figure it came up with — 1.6 million — is widely rejected by Islamic groups,
which say the actual number is four times that.”