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Understanding Mormonism

After Mitt Romney began his campaign for the U.S. presidency in 2012, media assumed and repeated misconceptions about Mormonism. In a brief video prepared for Odyssey Networks, an initiative that connects religion with current events,  Ahmad Corbitt, a spokesman for the New York office of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, addresses charges of racism and the controversy of proxy baptism of Holocaust Jews. In a second brief video, Corbitt explains how the LDS church understands its relationship to Jesus Christ and the larger Christian communion. 

Mormonism In The Political Arena

Mitt Romney’s pursuit of the Republican nomination for U.S. president in 2012 pushed Mormonism into the public square. Pew Forum surveys from 2011 and 2012 provide comparisons of the American public’s view of Mormonism and the understanding Mormons have of their own religious views and practices. In an extensive set of resources intended to assist unbiased and factual news coverage of Mormonism, the Religion Newswriters Association links to the Pew studies, key recent newspaper stories and the reflections of opinion makers about the practice of Mormonism. Additional material offers access to mass and pulp media treatments of Mormonism, reliable authoritative background material on the religion and more, all archived on RNA’s sister website ReligionLink.

ARDA Statistics on Mormons (LDS), Muslims and More.

The Association of Statisticians of American Religious Bodies (ASARB) reported in the 2010 U.S. Religion Census that, when grouped together, the nondenominational and independent churches are now the third largest faith group with more than 12 million adherents. The Catholic Church, though in decline, remains the largest faith group with almost 59 million adherents, followed by the Southern Baptist Church, which has more than 50,000 congregations and almost 20 million adherents.

“What struck us was the continued extension of the Mormon denomination across the country. It’s the fastest growing group in about half of the states,” said Dale E. Jones director of Research Services, Church of the Nazarene Global Ministry Center. “Another surprise was the loss in Catholic parish memberships. They’ve lost 5 percent, or 3 million people, over the last decade.” [Read More].

Defending Faith

Americans seem to like the idea of a religious, or at least morally guided, president. President Obama is reluctant to be forward about his faith but needs to overcome his reticence, according to Professor Randall Balmer of Columbia University, in the video, "Defending His Faith: President Obama and the Politics of Religion."

In a second video article, "Faith in the 2012 Elections," Professor J. Terry Todd of Drew University explores the religious makeup of the 2012 Republican presidential candidates and analyses how their beliefs affect their run for the office.
A third video news story, “Mormons and Evangelicals,” explores the theological issues related to the decision of evangelical Mark DeMoss to support Mormon Mitt Romney’s candidacy. All three videos are archived on the website of Odyssey Networks, an interfaith consortium that uses electronic media to enrich spiritual life and build bridges of understanding among people of faith.



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