"Church of Jesus Christ (LDS Church)" Now Fifth Largest
> NEW YORK, NEW YORK -- An analysis of data released Friday by the
> National Council of Churches and other sources shows that the Church
> of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is now the fifth largest
> denomination in the United States. The NCC data comes from its 2001
> Yearbook of American and Canadian Churches, the most comprehensive
> source of Church statistics. But the data for the Church of Jesus
> Christ included in the book is dated December 31, 1999, and
> subsequent growth appears to have pushed the Church from sixth place
> to fifth.
> The yearbook counts the Catholic Church as the largest in the US with
> 62 million members. The Southern Baptist Convention is next, with
> 15.85 million, followed by the United Methodist Church (8.37
> million), the Church of God in Christ (5.49 million) and the
> Evangelical Lutheran Church (5.14 million). The Church of Jesus
> Christ of Latter-day Saints is listed in sixth place with 5.11
> million members as of the end of 1999.
> However, in the intervening year, the Church of Jesus Christ has
> likely added about 85,000 members in the US, while the Evangelical
> Lutheran Church has been slowly loosing members for several years. As
> a result, the church likely became the fifth largest US denomination
> sometime in 2000.
> Getting to fourth place will take some time, estimates made by Mormon
> News show. If current growth rates continue, it will take 3 to 5
> years for the church to grow into fourth place and overtake the
> Church of God in Christ. After that, it is a long way to third place.
> Yearbook traces church trends
> Walnut Creek CA Contra Costa Times 17Feb01 N1
> By Kevin Eckstrom: Religion News Service
> >From Mormon-News: Mormon News and Events
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