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."