Yearbook Reports Figures for Top Black Faiths

Mar 08, 2003 11:42 AM EST

The National Council of the Churches of Christ has released their annual report of North American religious groups. Statistics for a leading black Protestant denomination are included for the first time in three years.

The Yearbook of American & Canadian Churches had omitted the figures from the National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc. due to its questionable count of 8.2 million members. This year, the convention updated its count, reporting 5 million members.

The Church of God in Christ is listed as the largest black denomination with 5.5 million followers, however that figure has not been updated since 1991.

The African Methodist Episcopal Church dropped 7.5 percent from the previous year to , 2.3 million while the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church grew 11.7 percent, to 1.4 million.

Also reporting increases since last year were the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (5.3 million), up 2 percent, and Assemblies of God (2.6 million), up 1.9 percent.

The Episcopal Church (2.3 million) gained 1.4 percent even though most other denominations in its "mainline" Protestant category continued long-term declines.

The largest denomination in the U.S. continues to be the Roman Catholic Church which reported a 2.5 percent increase and with a total of 65 million members.

By michael moon
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