In a nation where rising numbers of people are dropping out of organized religion, one dynamic religious movement continues to display remarkable strength.
The black church.
Several studies and surveys reveal black Americans retain remarkably strong levels of religious beliefs and practices. And that spiritual core is having an impact on community life in areas from health to economic empowerment.
Just how much of a difference was illustrated in a study measuring racial differences on moral behaviors.
Researchers found that blacks scored higher than whites on seven of nine virtues. The results indicated that, compared to whites, blacks were more humble, more grateful to God, felt more compassion for strangers and were likelier to provide emotional support and tangible help to people they do not know.
The only virtues in which race differences were not observed involved compassion and emotional support shown to family members and friends. The study analyzed data from a 2013 national survey of 1,535 adults ages 50 or older.
The black church is not without its concerns. Many black churches are struggling to attract younger generations. Issues such as the role of women and the rise of suburban megachurches siphoning members from smaller inner-city congregations also demand new responses in a new age.
Yet while many predominantly white mainstream churches suffer severe membership losses, black Americans appear to be keeping the faith.
Source: Huffington Post | David Briggs