Twitter icon

Facebook icon

About this site
About us
Our beliefs
Is this your first visit?
Contact us
External links

Recommended books

Visitors' essays
Our forum
New essays
Other features
Buy a CD of this site
Vital notes

World religions
Christian def'n
 Shared beliefs
 Handling change
 Bible topics
 Bible inerrancy
 Bible harmony
 Interpret the Bible
 Beliefs & creeds
 Da Vinci code
 Revelation 666
Other religions
Cults and NRMs
Comparing Religions

Non-theistic beliefs

About all religions
Main topics
Basic information
Gods & Goddesses
Handling change
Doubt & security
Confusing terms
End of the World?
True religion?
Seasonal events
Science vs. Religion
More information

Morality & ethics
Absolute truth

Attaining peace
Religious tolerance
Religious freedom
Religious hatred
Religious conflict
Religious violence

"Hot" topics
Very hot topics
Ten Commandments
Abortion access
Assisted suicide
Death penalty

Same-sex marriage

Human rights
Gays in the military
Sex & gender
Stem cells
Other topics

Laws and news
Religious laws
Religious news


Religious Tolerance logo


Religious & spiritual groups in the United States

horizontal rule


"No denomination has ever constituted a majority in the United States as a whole. In this sense all denominations are minorities..." M J. Gunn

horizontal rule


Little precise information is known about the size of religious faith groups in the U.S.  Members of the Church of Satan and Christian Scientists do not release their membership data.  Most of the other groups do publish their total membership.  However, there is no standardization of reporting methods:

  • Some count only the number of active members.

  • Others count everyone who has ever been baptized, even though they may not have darkened the door of that church in many decades.

  • Still others inflate their figures, or do not reveal them publically.

A better way of estimating the size of religious groups might be through the use of telephone sampling, such as is done on the periodic ARIS and Pew surveys. However, these also have inaccuracies:

  • Even with a sample size of 50,000 adults, relatively few members of small groups like Unitarian Universalists or Quakers will be contacted. As a result, the estimated size of small faith groups will lack accuracy.

  • Followers of some faith groups, like Wicca and Islam may not readily admit their religious affiliation to a stranger over the phone because of the danger of persecution.

horizontal rule

Sponsored link

horizontal rule

Negative reactions towards minority faiths:

Hatred, and animosity towards Wiccans and other Neopagans is largely a holdover from the Middle Ages when Witches were believed to worship Satan and engage in abuse of children. Since the 1990's when:

  • Satanic Ritual Abuse became widely believed during 1980. By 1995, it was widely understood to be an iatrogenic (therapist caused) hoax. It is nonexistent in practice.

  • the popularity of Wicca increased,

  • Knowledge about Wicca has increased, and

  • Many Wiccans have been more open about their religion,

animosity by Cowans (non-Wiccans) has largely dissapeared.

Unfortunately, the opposite is true of Islam. A violent fringe within the extreme fundamentalist wing of Islam has been assassinating fellow Muslims, Christians, and followers of other religions in large numbers. This has caused a growing level of Islamophobia, particularly among non-Muslims who identify the radical fringe element as typical of the entire religion.

horizontal rule

Sponsored link:

horizontal rule

Topics covered in this section:

bulletIntroductory information: How many faith groups? How they count noses. Attendance; The un-churched.

bulletChristian denominations

bulletNon-Christian groups

bulletHow Americans view themselves:

bullet star A big section >> Religious identification in the U.S.; How American adults view their religion. Denomination by state. The gradual decline of Christianity

bullet Findings of the Pew Forum A 2004 survey identifying 18 distinct religious communities).

bulletComparing U.S. religious beliefs with those in other "Christian" countries

bulletCooperation and conflict motivated by religious diversity in North America
bulletAttitudes towards other faith groups:

bulletBy Americans, in general

bulletTowards Mormons and Evangelicals Part 1 Part 2

bullet By American Christians towards non-Christians
bulletAdditional information: The largest denominations; numbers of Catholics; books

horizontal rule

Site navigation:

Home page > Religious info. > Basic info > here

Home page > Christianity > Christian history, beliefs, practice > Practices > here

horizontal rule

Copyright © 1996 to 2013 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Last updated: 2013-OCT-11
Author: B.A. Robinson
line.gif (538 bytes)
Sponsored link

horizontal rule

Go to the previous page, or return to the Religious practices menu, or return to the Basic religious information menu, or choose:

Go to home page We would really appreciate your help

E-mail us about errors, etc.  Purchase a CD of this web site

FreeFind search, lists of new essays...  Having problems printing our essays?

Google Page Translator:

This page translator works on Firefox,
Opera, Chrome, and Safari browsers only

After translating, click on the "show
original" button at the top of this
page to restore page to English.