"Encyclopedia of American Religion" Documents Religious Diversity in America

February 1, 2003

Source: The Associated Press


On February 1, 2003 The Associated Press reported that "Americans are proud of their freedom of religion, and the work of J. Gordon Melton shows they have a whole lot of religions to choose from...The Roman Catholic Church may be huge but it's only one among 116 Catholic denominations. Orthodox Christians have an even higher total, and Protestantism is notoriously splintered; its Pentecostal segment alone counts groups by the hundreds... If the Episcopal Church won't do, worshippers can move leftward into the Metaphysical Episcopal Church or Free Episcopal Church, or rightward into dozens of breakaways like the Anglican Mission in America. The [Unitarian] denomination offers a subgroup of Unitarian Universalist Pagans... Moving further from the mainstream, there's always the Church of God Anonymous, the Nudist Christian Church of the Blessed Virgin Jesus or the Only Fair Religion... All are among 2,630 U.S. and Canadian faith groups described in the new edition of the indispensable 'Encyclopedia of American Religion.'"