According to a new study, U.S. congregations have changed significantly since 1998, having become more ethnically diverse, more technologically savvy and more informal in worship.
Predominantly white congregations reported an increase in racial and ethnic diversity between the first and second surveys of U.S. houses of worship by the National Congregations Study.
When the study was first conducted in 1998, 20 percent of churchgoers in Protestant congregations and Catholic parishes reported attending a church that was all white and non-Hispanic. In the second round, conducted in 2006-2007, that figure had dipped to 14 percent.
The study also found that the percentage of congregations with no Asian members decreased in the same period from 59 percent to 50 percent, and the percentage of congregations with no Latino members dropped from 43 percent to 36 percent.
A. M. Stroud III, a former prosecutor in Louisiana, expresses regret for the role he played in sending Glenn Ford to death row in 1984. “I was 33 years old. I was arrogant, judgmental, narcissistic and very full of myself. I was not as interested in justice as I was in winning.” Stroud says he presented dubious evidence from a forensic pathologist, precluded black jurors from the trial (Ford, since exonerated, is black), and ignored the fact that the appointed defense attorney had never before tried a criminal or capital case. “I . . . hope that providence will have more mercy for me than I showed Glenn Ford,” Stroud said in a letter to the editor of the Times of Shreveport. “But, I’m also sobered by the realization that I certainly am not deserving of it” (ABA Journal, March 25).