Thursday, April 13, 2006

What's Up With The Mormons Lately? (Part II)

I just thought I would bring this article to your attention:
BELMONT, Massachusetts (Reuters) - Stepping into a Mormon temple is like watching a cinematic take on heaven: everything glows in white -- from the rich upholstery to the ivory outfits of worshipers and polished marble floors.

It's also a step more people are taking in the heavily Roman Catholic U.S. Northeast, where Mormon numbers have jumped 37 percent in 10 years, nearly double the religion's national growth rate of 21 percent, church data show.

"The number of new members here is just utterly amazing," said Allan Barker, president of the Massachusetts temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, as the faith is formally known.

One aspect of this story that I find really interesting is that I consider the Northeast to be one of the more secular parts of the country. (The urban areas of the West Coast being the other.) Granted, the LDS Church presence there is still pretty small, but the growth is interesting. At a time when the overall rate of growth is declining, the Northeast is booming. Why?

Is the Northeast more religious than I am giving them credit for? Is the LDS Church benefiting from the disasterous self-inflicted sex-abuse scandal the Cathlic Church has underwent, a scandal which acutely affected the Catholics of New England? Are these the beginnings of a religious reawakening? Or is interest being sparked by star power, as it were, with the rise of Mitt Romney in Massachusetts politics?

In real terms, the why doesn't matter. I'm just curious. The Northeast has never struck me as a fertile ground for missionary efforts, and I am happily and obviously wrong.

Maybe Maine Man will crawl out of his hole and give us some thoughts...


At 2:57 PM, Blogger Maine Man said...

Interesting questions. I was unaware of the growth rate in the area, particularly as my ward is slowely shrinking.

However, I'll check my sources and get back to you.

On another note, I never crawled into a hole- I read the blog nearly everyday.


Post a Comment

<< Home