Professors from Baylor University argued this week that religion is growing in America.
The professors from Baylor’s Institute for Religion Studies in Waco, Texas, were part of a panel discussion at the National Press Club, according to The Christian Post.
The men said that surveys released about religious participation have been wrongly skewed. For example, Byron Johnson, a social sciences professor and founder of the Institute for Religion Studies, said that a Pew Research study found that 44 percent of Americans left the faith affiliation in which they were raised.
But Johnson argued that could mean that many Americans converted to denominations other than the denomination in which they were raised.
"There wasn't one media account from that good study that said this is a good thing. This was also thrown in this huge bucket of bad news that was thrown out there. We look at that study and say that is a phenomenal thing that people would switch churches," Johnson said. "We see this is a measure of vitality and health and others are interpreting it is an abandoning of the faith, just because I think they read something into the data that wasn't there or they misinterpreted the data."
Added J. Gordon Melton, professor of American religious history: "While some churches have lost membership over the last 65 years, simultaneously, hundreds of new denominations have been founded, and while population has more than doubled, church membership has more than quadrupled.
“It is still in an upward trajectory."
Photo courtesy: pixabay.com
Publication date: November 11, 2015