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Why the U.S. Orthodox Church Continues To Grow

While most churches struggle with membership and aging populations, the Orthodox Christian church in America has grown, and in some areas of the country, has burgeoned. Certain groups have increased exponentially — the Bulgarian and the Romanian churches both grew by more than 120 percent between 2000 and 2010, for instance. A recent study, available at the Hartford Institute for Religion Research, has yielded key information about U.S. Orthodox Church membership, attendance, culture and geographical location. The 43-page report, produced by Alexei Krindatch, the research coordinator for the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of North and Central America, is based on a 2010 national census of U.S. Orthodox Christian churches sponsored by the Standing Conference of the Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas. It provides a brief history of the church and addresses trends that have contributed to the church's growth. Krindatch has also written an eight-page overview of the report, which provides a quick review of the trends within the Orthodox community, including populations that have doubled in size since 2000, and the five states in the country where almost half the Orthodox population lives. The Hartford Institute for Religion Research conducts and disseminates rigorous research into current and emerging issues related to the practice of faith.




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