After years of steady growth, membership in the Roman Catholic Church and Southern Baptist Convention have declined 0.59% and 0.24% respectively, according to the 2009 Yearbook of American & Canadian Churches. Although the percentages are small compared to the total membership, they have joined virtually every mainline denomination in reporting a membership decline.
Yearbook editor Eileen W. Lindner notes that many churches are feeling the impact of the lifestyles of younger generations of church-goers who attend and support local congregations but resist joining. Other denominations with membership losses include the
- United Church of Christ (-6.1%)
- African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church (-3.01%)
- Presbyterian Church (USA) (-2.79%)
- Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod (-1.44%)
- Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (-1.35%)
- American Baptist Churches USA (-0.94%).
Only 4 of the 25 largest U.S. churches are growing:
- Jehovah’s Witnesses (+2.12%)
- Church of God of Cleveland, TN (+2.04%)
- Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (+1.63%)
- Assemblies of God (+0.96%).
(Christian Post 2/25/09, via Foster Religious Market Update)