While we’re constantly told the Catholic Church is patriarchal, sexist, and outdated, the Catholic Church remained the largest Christian church in the U.S. in 2005 with a reported membership of 69,135,254, or nearly 42 percent of all Christian church membership, according to the 2007 Yearbook of American and Canadian Churches.
The Church also saw an increase of 1.94 percent over its previous year’s total making it among the fastest-growing of the nation’s 25 largest churches, followed closely by the Assemblies of God, which recorded 1.86 percent growth, and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, with 1.63 percent growth.
Total membership in U.S. Christian churches continued to rise in 2005, despite ongoing declines in some of the country’s largest mainline Protestant churches.
Several mainline Protestant churches including the Episcopalians, Presbyterians and United Church of Christ, however lost more than 10 percent of their membership between 1995 and 2005.
I do not believe those losses are accidental. While confirming openly gay bishops, seeking alternative designations for the supposedly sexist Christian Trinity of Father, Son and Holy Spirit including, “Mother, Child and Womb” and “Rock, Redeemer and Friend,” endorsing the legalization of medical marijuana, reimagining God as “Our Maker Sophia” and holding a feminist-inspired “milk and honey” ritual designed to replace traditional bread-and-wine Communion it is not hard to believe that these churches are seeing a precipitous drop in attendance.
According to the LA Times, as recently as 1960, members of mainline churches — Episcopalians, Presbyterians, Methodists, Lutherans and the like — accounted for 40% of all American Protestants. Today, it’s more like 12% (17 million out of 135 million).