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CULT GROWTH

Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons) reported the largest membership increases in a year, according to the National Council of Churches’ 2008 Yearbook of American & Canadian Churches. Although Jehovah’s Witnesses currently rank 25th in size with over 1.06 million members, they reported a 2.25% increase since the publication of the 2007 Yearbook. The Mormon church grew 1.56% and is listed by the NCC as the fourth largest "church." Others among the top 25 largest churches reporting increases include The Catholic Church at 0.87%; Southern Baptist Convention (0.22%); African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church (0.21%); and the Assemblies of God (0.19%). The greatest membership losses were reported by The Episcopal Church (4.15%) and the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A) (2.36%). Both are currently wracked by theological differences and the issue of homosexuality. American Baptist Churches in the U.S.A. and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America were also hit with large losses (1.82% and 1.58%). The United Methodists saw a 0.99% decrease but remains the third largest U.S. church body with nearly eight million members.

(Source: Christian Post, 2/20/08)

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