Liberal Christianity and Decline

One could find similar figures for the other large, liberal denominations (ELCA, PCUSA, UMC, etc.):

The raw, ugly truth is that there are less than 800,000 practicing Episcopalians on any given Sunday. That number is declining at the rate of 1,000 a week. According to a Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life survey, the Episcopal Church is the fastest dying mainline protestant denomination in America. It dropped 1.5% in attendance last year. That figure is projected to only increase and escalate in 2008.

The Episcopal Church has declined in absolute numbers. According to statistics presented by Kirk Hadaway, the Episcopal Church's director of research to the Executive Council, the church is losing 1,000 parishioners per week. Only one in three Episcopalians attends a parish church on a weekly basis. Membership in all 110 dioceses of the Episcopal Church totaled 2,320,506 in 2006, down 2.2%, or 51,502, from 2,372,008 in 2005. That's the equivalent of 1,000 Episcopalians walking away from the Episcopal Church each week. There is no indication it will turn around any time soon, if ever. Since 2007, the decline has only accelerated.

One entire diocese, - San Joaquin - taking about 90 percent of its members, has departed the Episcopal Church. Three more dioceses, - Ft. Worth, Quincy and Pittsburgh, will, in all likelihood, leave over the next year taking thousands more with them. In the past 10 years, over 10 of the largest Episcopal parishes in the country have fled to other jurisdictions, my rector tells me. What does that tell you?

The figures don't lie. The Episcopal Church is not growing, it is dying.

From HERE.


Brett said…
So what would you say the reason is? As I said on erik's post it seems that the more orthodox the church is the more socially liberal they tend to be. Is this a move towards social conservativeism? Are Christians moving away from the center and to the Evangelical and Catholic Churches respectively?
Abu Daoud said…
Hi Brett, I don't think that the old liberal denom's represent the center anymore, maybe that's the problem. They got so used to defining the center, that they didn't realize that they were part of a larger Christian community, which included bodies that in different ways are anchored in conservatism (Rome, Orthodoxy, some evangelicals). So they moved to the left thinking that they were still the center, and their people didn't go with them.

Many left the church. Some have gone to the communities you mentioned, as well as the LDS and Watchtower. I'm not sure if you have heard much about it, but a good number of Protestants and evangelicals are also going to Orthodoxy (Greek Orthodox, Antiochian Orthodoxy, Russian Orthodoxy).

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