Demographic Changes Impact Religious Institutions -- Sightings (Martin Marty)
There are immigration reform bills floating through Congress that seek to deal with the large number of persons living in the U.S. without documentation. That is, they lack any legal status. What to do? It's not likely they'll "self-deport." Even as we wrestle with this question, and likely a complication for that question, the demographic studies are telling us that the demographic make up of the nation is changing rapidly. As Martin Marty notes, White Americans are dying faster than they're being born, while the number of non-white children being born in the U.S. is increasing rather rapidly. This reality has many implications for the nation at large, but it also has significant implications for our religious institutions, many of which are dominated by European-Americans. Where growth his happening, it's largely among bodies that are being enriched by immigrants. Thus, as Martin Marty notes, if you take away the increase of immigrant communities, the Roman Catholic Church is suffering the same demographic decline as Mainline Protestants.
So, what does the future look like? We can ignore the trends. We who make up the current majority can complain. Or we can begin to look at the future with open eyes and open arms. The choice is ours. So, take a read, offer your thoughts.