I read an interesting article online that points out that the state of Washington is 45th in church membership and attendance.
That doesn’t surprise me. For a long time I’ve known that Washington is high on the list of least reached states. Interestingly, ten years ago Washington was 49th on the list — followed by Maine as 50th. Now, Oregon has taken the 49th spot and Maine continues to be last on the list.
(Read previous posts: The US Church is Dying and Declining and The US Church is Infertile and Dysfunctional.)
Currently, my colleague Ken Morse is working on a research project of all the evangelical churches in the Puget Sound region – approximately 1600. Our goal is to partner together with the whole Body of Christ to fuel the rapid multiplication of disciples and churches throughout the Puget Sound Metro Area to complete the Great Commission. (see Puget Sound Multiplication Initiative)
Some Interesting Facts: 1. The percentage of Washingtonians attending a church, temple, synagogue or mosque was about the same in 2010 as in 2000: one of every three people. (The latest study reported 34.6 percent of Washington residents attend and are members of a congregation, compared with 33 percent in 2000.)
2. The Mormon Church, however, continued to expand as one of the state’s fastest-growing religious groups, increasing its numbers by a reported 50 percent since 2000. The LDS Church grew from 178,000 in 2000 to 267,267 in 2010, according to the study. The number of LDS congregations in Washington increased by 49 to 520 during the decade, said Dale Jones, data analyst for the study.
3. The four largest religious groups in Washington state were:
- Roman Catholics – 784,332.
- Nondenominational evangelical Protestants – 309,440.
- The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints – 267,267.
- Assemblies of God – 125,005.
4. The estimated population of Muslims increased by 23 percent from 15,553 to 19,092.
5. The study shows nondenominational evangelical churches are growing, while mainline Protestant denominations are declining. The highest-ranking mainline Protestant denomination in Washington is the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, ranked fifth with 96,555 followers.