Sunday morning services still separated by race

Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, “”11 o’clock Sunday is still the most segregated hour of the week.” Recent sociological evidence lends weight to King’s observation:

According to a study published in the latest issue of Sociological Inquiry, 9 in 10 Christian congregations in America have a single racial group that accounts for more than 80 percent of membership. A similar study 10 years ago found a remarkably similar ratio.

There is a growing amount of sociological research on this topic. One body of research looks at how difficult it is create and then maintain a multiracial congregation. Even if one is created intentionally, it takes a lot of work to maintain this as a too large population of one racial or ethnic group can accelerate the departure of other groups. To learn more, read People of the Dream: Multiracial Congregations in the United States.

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