US church given score on racial diversity

WASHINGTON, D.C. (BNC) — Churches of Christ scored a 6.1 out of a possible 10 for racial diversity in the US, placing above most religions and groups, but coming in under the average for all US adults.

The chart below was published on the Pew Research Center’s FactTank July 27.

religion-diversity

According to the report, “if a religious group had exactly equal shares of each of the five racial and ethnic groups (20% each), it would get a 10.0 on the index; a religious group made up entirely of one racial group would get a 0.0. By comparison, U.S. adults overall rate at 6.6 on the scale.”

The results might serve to spur discussions among Christians about receptivity in the various groups and how well churches have worked to reach the various racial groups represented in the US.

Randal and his wife Vicki have lived and worked in Brazil since Nov. 1984. They have three children, two daughters-in-law, and four grandchildren. He likes to read novels in his back-porch hammock. http://randal.us

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8 Comments

  1. Well, by and large people attend where they are most comfortable… Having worshiped at the Inner City Church of Christ in Nashville and the Moreland Avenue congregation in Atlanta, GA, where it wasn’t hard to tell that I was a visitor… I am happy to say that I was very comfortable both places. That said, these two congregations don’t seem to represent us as a whole. While the congregations in my home town are showing signs of greater diversity, which is encouraging, there is still much more that we can do.

    In heaven there will be no color. There will be no economic disparity. Maybe we should work harder to make earth or at the very least our congregations, look more like heaven. This is certainly food for thought.

  2. Larry Kee

    Looking at the graphic, it looks like churches of Christ look more like “All U.S. adults” than any other category with the exception of “Nothing in particular.” Despite the report appearing to give equal shares a 10.0 score, presumably, the ideal score, it appears that the ideal score would be looking most like the “All U.S. adults” category.

  3. Gracie

    Looking at the chart on my iPhone it appears there are no African American congregations represented. Easter weekend over two THOUSAND women gathered from all across our nation to celebrate our sisterhood in Christ!

    • Connie

      Looking at the chart, I agree with Gracie. There are many black congregations and mixed congregations. The congregation that I attend is about 65% black and mixed race families.

    • Larry Kee

      There’s not enough information from the report, but I don’t think this graphic is reporting anything about congregations, but rather is looking at an entire religious group, and ascertaining what percentage of individuals in that entire group across the entire country is of a particular ethnic category.

    • Richard S

      The categories are color coded to represent each racial/ethnic group.
      In Churches of Christ it says there are 16% in the Black category, which is the darker blue line, but no % in the Asian category, which is the lighter blue line. However I know there are Asians in the Church.

  4. Do we really have to bring race into churches?

    • Joe Wheatley

      Yes we do. I haven’t seen a Black person in church in years. There are some congregations that are predominately Black and no one seems to care. From what I have read, the predominately Black congregations have even developed their own culture and tend to be more conservative, sings songs more slowly than white congregations and have separate gospel meetings. Because of the mainly Black congregations the separation might be more pronounced than is apparent from the chart. We need to look at how we are doing on the congregational level rather than the church as a whole.

      Gracie’s comment might show a difference between B/W congregations. She said that over 2000 women met over Easter weekend. Anyone using the word “Easter” in my conservative white congregation would be unduly criticized for taking on the ways of the world.

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