Congregations becoming more diverse

America’s pews are becoming dramatically more welcoming to gays and lesbians, and they increasingly reflect the nation’s racial and ethnic diversity, according to the latest results from a major study of U.S. congregations.

Nearly three in ten U.S. congregations permit gays and lesbians in committed relationships to hold volunteer leadership positions, up from 19 percent of congregations that allowed such opportunities in 2006–2007, the National Congregations Study found.

At the same time, it has become much less likely, even rare, to find a religious community where worshipers can expect to be surrounded by a sea of white faces. The percentage of U.S. congregations with only non-Hispanic whites declined from 20 percent in 1998 to 11 percent in 2012, the study found.

 

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