Analysts of industrial nations often are perplexed by the continuing high level of religious activity in the United States. According to historians, this persistent vitality of congregational life is the result of overlapping waves of renewal rather than a steady growth from pioneer strengths. A recent survey, known as Faith Communities Today (FACT), reveals that three causes of this renewal are still evident across America—and that one of these provides good news for the oldline Protestant churches.
Perhaps the most characteristically American source of this renewing energy is immigration. All oldline Protestant denominations (as well as most streams of U.S. Catholicism and Judaism) are immigrant in origin. New waves of immigration bring new ethnic religious groups to our shores.