Monday, October 5, 2009
I love maps. Some time ago I saw this map and was fascinated by the data. By double clicking on the map or by going to this website, County Counting you can see a larger version of it. The colors indicate predominant religious groups. A county with a black dot in it indicates that the group corresponding to the color claims at least 50% of the population.
Of interest to me is the upper mid-west. My denomination, the Presbyterian Church in America, has a less than stellar record in church planting in this region (that's an entirely different story). Perhaps our problem is not doing enough demographic work into the predominant religious groups in a particular city or county. For instance, one might decry the lack of reformed theology in the states of MN, WI, SD, ND, IA and NE but those states all have a large measure of 'reformation theology' as represented by the Lutheran tradition (note: I'm well aware that all Lutherans are not equal but those wishing to plant reformed churches in this region would be wise to become very acquainted with Luther and Lutheran theology not to mention Roman Catholicism. In some places/states 2/3 of the people are either Lutheran or Catholic).
The map was created by The Glenmary Institute, a Roman Catholic organization focused on their mission outreach to the United States (http://www.glenmary.org/). They have quite a few other maps that detail various aspects of their research on the religious make-up of this nation. Enjoy!