The LDS Newsroom reported yesterday that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was the second fastest growing church in America in 2005.
SALT LAKE CITY â€” The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the second-fastest growing church in the United States, according to the 2006 Yearbook of American and Canadian Churches, published by the National Council of Churches.
The Church reached 12,560,869 members worldwide at the end of 2005, with 5,690,672 in the United States.
The countries with the highest membership are:
* United States â€” 5,691,000*
* Mexico â€” 1,044,000
* Brazil â€” 929,000
* Philippines â€” 553,000
* Chile â€” 539,000
* Peru â€” 416,000
* Argentina â€” 348,000
* Guatemala â€” 201,000
* Canada â€” 172,000
* Ecuador â€” 171,000
“The numbers donâ€™t tell the real story,” a Church spokesman said. “The real measure of Latter-day Saints is the depth of their faith and how it changes peopleâ€™s lives.”
*Figures rounded to the nearest thousand
When I visited the site for the National Council of Churches, It seemed to me that the LDS church was the 3rd fastest growing church as far as percentages. So I’m assuming what the church site reported was the number of new members.
The Catholic Church remains the largest faith group in the U.S. with 67,259,768 members and a growth rate last year of 1.28 percent. The second largest denomination in the U.S. is still the Southern Baptist Convention with 16,439,603 members and a growth rate of 1.18 percent. The United Methodist Church is third largest with a reported membership of 8,251,175 and a growth rate of .002 percent.
The Church of Jesus of Latter-day Saints, with a reported membership of 5,503,192, rose from the fifth to the fourth largest church in the U.S. The yearbook noted that the church â€œcontinues to grow remarkablyâ€ at a rate of 1.71 percent last year.
A reported surge in membership of the Orthodox Church in America (OCA) has placed the communion on the list of the largest American churches. The Syosset, N.Y., based church grew 11.11 percent to 1-million members, according to the yearbook.
Other churches in the top 25 that continued to grow in 2004 are the Assemblies of God, 2,729,562 members and a growth rate of 1.57 percent; the Episcopal Church, 2,320,221 members and a growth rate of .57 percent; the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, 1,432,795 members and a growth rate of .14 percent; and Jehovahâ€™s Witnesses, 1,041,030 members and a growth rate of 1.82 percent.
According to what I read there, I think the order of percentage growth would be as follows:
- Orthodox Church in America (OCA) +11.11%
- Jehovahâ€™s Witnesses +1.82%
- The Church of Jesus of Latter-day Saints +1.71%
- Assemblies of God +1.57%
- Catholic Church +1.28%
- Southern Baptist Convention +1.18%
- Episcopal Church +0.57%
- African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church +0.14%
- The United Methodist Church +0.002%
The rest of the churches mentioned all declined in membership.