Bible Belt

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The area roughly considered to constitute the Bible Belt BibleBelt.png
The area roughly considered to constitute the Bible Belt

The Bible Belt is an informal region in the Southern United States in which socially conservative evangelical Protestantism plays a strong role in society and politics, and Christian church attendance across the denominations is generally higher than the nation's average.

Southern United States Cultural region of the United States

The southern United States, also known as the American South, Dixie, Dixieland, or simply the South, is a region of the United States of America. It is located between the Atlantic Ocean and the western United States, with the midwestern United States and northeastern United States to its north and the Gulf of Mexico and Mexico to its south.

Evangelicalism in the United States

In the United States, evangelicalism is an umbrella group of Protestant Christians who believe in the necessity of being born again, emphasize the importance of evangelism, and affirm traditional Protestant teachings on the authority and the historicity of the Bible. Nearly a quarter of the US population, evangelicals are diverse and drawn from a variety of denominational backgrounds, including Baptist, Mennonite, Methodist, Holiness, Pentecostal, Reformed and nondenominational churches.

Church attendance

Church attendance is a central religious practice for many Christians; some Christian denominations, such as the Catholic Church require church attendance on the Lord's Day (Sunday); the Westminster Confession of Faith is held by the Reformed Churches and teaches first-day Sabbatarianism, thus proclaiming the duty of public worship in keeping with the Ten Commandments. Similarly, The General Rules of the Methodist Church also requires "attending upon all the ordinances of God" including "the public worship of God". Until 1791, the government of the United Kingdom required attendance at church services of the Church of England at least twice a year. To this end, all major branches of Christianity, however, encourage church attendance, with one Christian apostolate providing the following biblical imperatives:

The Bible tells us we need to attend church so we can worship God with other believers and be taught His Word for our spiritual growth. Church is the place where believers can love one another, encourage one another, "spur" one another, serve one another, instruct one another, honor one another, and be kind and compassionate to one another.

Contents

The region is usually contrasted with the religiously diverse Midwest and Great Lakes, the Mormon Corridor in Utah and southern Idaho, and the relatively secular Western and New England regions of the United States. Whereas the state with the highest percentage of residents identifying as non-religious is the New England state of Vermont at 37%, in the Bible Belt state of Alabama it is just 12%. [1] Tennessee has the highest proportion of Evangelical Protestants, at 52%. [2] . The Evangelical influence is strongest in northern Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, North Carolina, southern Virginia, South Carolina, and eastern Texas. The earliest known usage of the term "Bible Belt" was by American journalist and social commentator H. L. Mencken, who in 1924 wrote in the Chicago Daily Tribune : "The old game, I suspect, is beginning to play out in the Bible Belt." [3] In 1927, Mencken claimed the term as his invention. [4]

Midwestern United States region that includes parts of Canada and the United States

The Midwestern United States, also referred to as the American Midwest, Middle West, or simply the Midwest, is one of four census regions of the United States Census Bureau. It occupies the northern central part of the United States. It was officially named the North Central Region by the Census Bureau until 1984. It is located between the Northeastern United States and the Western United States, with Canada to its north and the Southern United States to its south.

Great Lakes region A region that includes portions of eight U.S. states and one Canadian Province

The Great Lakes region of North America is a bi-national Canadian–American region that includes portions of the eight U.S. states of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin as well as the Canadian province of Ontario. The region centers on the Great Lakes and forms a distinctive historical, economic, and cultural identity. A portion of the region also encompasses the Great Lakes Megalopolis.

Mormon Corridor

The Mormon Corridor is the areas of Western North America that were settled between 1850 and approximately 1890 by members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, who are commonly known as Mormons.

Geography

The name "Bible Belt" has been applied historically to the South and parts of the Midwest, but is more commonly identified with the South. In a 1961 study, Wilbur Zelinsky delineated the region as the area in which Protestant denominations, especially Southern Baptist, Methodist, and evangelical, are the predominant religious affiliation. The region thus defined included most of the Southern United States, including most of Texas and Oklahoma, and in the states south of the Ohio River, and extending east to include central West Virginia and Virginia, from the Shenandoah Valley southward. In addition, the Bible Belt covers most of Missouri and Kentucky and southern parts of Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio. On the other hand, areas in the South which are not considered part of the Bible Belt include heavily Catholic Southern Louisiana, central and southern Florida, which have been settled mainly by immigrants and Americans from elsewhere in the country, and overwhelmingly Hispanic South Texas. A 1978 study by Charles Heatwole identified the Bible Belt as the region dominated by 24 fundamentalist Protestant denominations, corresponding to essentially the same area mapped by Zelinsky. [5]

Wilbur Zelinsky was an American cultural geographer. He was most recently a professor emeritus at Pennsylvania State University. He also created the Zelinsky Model of Demographic Transition.

Texas State of the United States of America

Texas is the second largest state in the United States by both area and population. Geographically located in the South Central region of the country, Texas shares borders with the U.S. states of Louisiana to the east, Arkansas to the northeast, Oklahoma to the north, New Mexico to the west, and the Mexican states of Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo León, and Tamaulipas to the southwest, while the Gulf of Mexico is to the southeast.

Oklahoma State of the United States of America

Oklahoma is a state in the South Central region of the United States, bordered by Kansas on the north, Missouri on the northeast, Arkansas on the east, Texas on the south, New Mexico on the west, and Colorado on the northwest. It is the 20th-most extensive and the 28th-most populous of the fifty United States. The state's name is derived from the Choctaw words okla and humma, meaning "red people". It is also known informally by its nickname, "The Sooner State", in reference to the non-Native settlers who staked their claims on land before the official opening date of lands in the western Oklahoma Territory or before the Indian Appropriations Act of 1889, which dramatically increased European-American settlement in the eastern Indian Territory. Oklahoma Territory and Indian Territory were merged into the State of Oklahoma when it became the 46th state to enter the union on November 16, 1907. Its residents are known as Oklahomans, and its capital and largest city is Oklahoma City.

According to Stephen W. Tweedie, an Associate Professor Emeritus in the Department of Geography at Oklahoma State University, the Bible Belt is now viewed in terms of numerical concentration of the audience for religious television. [6] He finds two belts: one more eastern that stretches from Florida, (excluding Miami, Tampa and South Florida), through Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky, Georgia, North and South Carolina, and into Southern Virginia ; and another concentrated in Texas (excluding El Paso, and South Texas), Arkansas, Louisiana, (excluding New Orleans and Acadiana), Oklahoma, Missouri (excluding St. Louis), Kansas, and Mississippi. [7] "[H]is research also broke the Bible Belt into two core regions, a western region and an eastern region. Tweedie's western Bible Belt was focused on a core that extended from Little Rock, Arkansas to Tulsa, Oklahoma. His eastern Bible Belt was focused on a core that included the major population centers of Virginia and North Carolina. [8]

Alabama State of the United States of America

Alabama is a state in the southeastern region of the United States. It is bordered by Tennessee to the north, Georgia to the east, Florida and the Gulf of Mexico to the south, and Mississippi to the west. Alabama is the 30th largest by area and the 24th-most populous of the U.S. states. With a total of 1,500 miles (2,400 km) of inland waterways, Alabama has among the most of any state.

Tennessee State of the United States of America

Tennessee is a state located in the southeastern region of the United States. Tennessee is the 36th largest and the 16th most populous of the 50 United States. Tennessee is bordered by Kentucky to the north, Virginia to the northeast, North Carolina to the east, Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi to the south, Arkansas to the west, and Missouri to the northwest. The Appalachian Mountains dominate the eastern part of the state, and the Mississippi River forms the state's western border. Nashville is the state's capital and largest city, with a 2017 population of 667,560 and a 2017 metro population of 1,903,045. Tennessee's second largest city is Memphis, which had a population of 652,236 in 2017.

Georgia (U.S. state) State of the United States of America

Georgia is a state in the Southeastern United States. It began as a British colony in 1733, the last and southernmost of the original Thirteen Colonies to be established. Named after King George II of Great Britain, the Province of Georgia covered the area from South Carolina south to Spanish Florida and west to French Louisiana at the Mississippi River. Georgia was the fourth state to ratify the United States Constitution, on January 2, 1788. In 1802–1804, western Georgia was split to the Mississippi Territory, which later split to form Alabama with part of former West Florida in 1819. Georgia declared its secession from the Union on January 19, 1861, and was one of the original seven Confederate states. It was the last state to be restored to the Union, on July 15, 1870. Georgia is the 24th largest and the 8th most populous of the 50 United States. From 2007 to 2008, 14 of Georgia's counties ranked among the nation's 100 fastest-growing, second only to Texas. Georgia is known as the Peach State and the Empire State of the South. Atlanta, the state's capital and most populous city, has been named a global city. Atlanta's metropolitan area contains about 55% of the population of the entire state.

Bible-minded cities map Bible-minded Cities map.PNG
Bible-minded cities map

A study was commissioned by the American Bible Society to survey the importance of the Bible in the metropolitan areas of the United States. The report was based on 42,855 interviews conducted between 2005 and 2012. It determined the 10 most "Bible-minded" cities were Knoxville, Tennessee; Shreveport, Louisiana; Chattanooga, Tennessee; Birmingham, Alabama; Jackson, Mississippi; Springfield, Missouri; Charlotte, North Carolina;, Lynchburg, Virginia; Huntsville-Decatur, Alabama; and Charleston, West Virginia. [9]

The American Bible Society (ABS) is a United States–based nondenominational Bible society which publishes, distributes and translates the Bible and provides study aids and other tools to help people engage with the Bible. Founded on May 11, 1816, in New York City, it is probably best known for its Good News Translation of the Bible, with its contemporary vernacular. They also publish the Contemporary English Version. The American Bible Society is also a member of the Forum of Bible Agencies International. ABS's headquarters relocated from 1865 Broadway in New York City to Philadelphia in August 2015.

Knoxville, Tennessee City in Tennessee, United States

Knoxville is a city in the U.S. state of Tennessee, and the county seat of Knox County. The city had an estimated population of 186,239 in 2016 and a population of 178,874 as of the 2010 census, making it the state's third largest city after Nashville and Memphis. Knoxville is the principal city of the Knoxville Metropolitan Statistical Area, which, in 2016, was 868,546, up 0.9 percent, or 7,377 people, from to 2015. The KMSA is, in turn, the central component of the Knoxville-Sevierville-La Follette Combined Statistical Area, which, in 2013, had a population of 1,096,961.

Shreveport, Louisiana City in Louisiana, United States

Shreveport is a city in the U.S. state of Louisiana. It is the most populous city in the Shreveport-Bossier City metropolitan area. Shreveport ranks third in population in Louisiana after New Orleans and Baton Rouge and 126th in the U.S. The bulk of Shreveport is in Caddo Parish, of which it is the parish seat. Shreveport extends along the west bank of the Red River into neighboring Bossier Parish. The population of Shreveport was 199,311 as of the 2010 U.S. Census. The United States Census Bureau's 2017 estimate for the city's population decreased to 192,036.

In addition to the South, there is a smaller Bible Belt in West Michigan, centered around the heavily Dutch-influenced cities of Holland and Grand Rapids. Christian colleges in that region include Calvin College, Hope College, Cornerstone University, Grace Bible College, and Kuyper College. West Michigan is generally fiscally and socially conservative.

West Michigan region of Michigan, United States

West Michigan and Western Michigan are terms for an arbitrary region in the U.S. state of Michigan's Lower Peninsula. Most narrowly it refers to the Grand Rapids-Muskegon-Holland area, or more broadly to most of the region along the Lake Michigan shoreline of the Lower Peninsula, but there is no official definition for it.

Holland, Michigan City in Michigan, United States

Holland is a city in the western region of the Lower Peninsula of the U.S. state of Michigan. It is situated near the eastern shore of Lake Michigan on Lake Macatawa, which is fed by the Macatawa River.

Grand Rapids, Michigan City in Michigan, United States

Grand Rapids is the second-largest city in Michigan, and the largest city in West Michigan. It is on the Grand River about 30 miles (48 km) east of Lake Michigan. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 188,040. In 2010, the Grand Rapids metropolitan area had a population of 1,005,648, and the combined statistical area of Grand Rapids-Muskegon-Holland had a population of 1,321,557. Grand Rapids is the county seat of Kent County.

History

During the colonial period (1607–1776), the South was a stronghold of the Anglican church. Its transition to a stronghold of non-Anglican Protestantism occurred gradually over the next century as a series of religious revival movements, many associated with the Baptist denomination, gained great popularity in the region. [10]

It seems a link between the colonial Bible Belt (the North, especially New England with its Puritan heritage) and the later Southern Bible Belt may be seen in the impact which some Northern figures had on the religious development of the South (perhaps not incomparable to the origins of Mormonism in the North, in spite of its later association with Utah). "The centre of Particular Baptist activity in early America was in the Middle Colonies. In 1707 five churches in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware were united to form the Philadelphia Baptist Association, and through the association they embarked upon vigorous missionary activity. By 1760 the Philadelphia association included churches located in the present states of Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Virginia, and West Virginia; and by 1767 further multiplication of churches had necessitated the formation of two subsidiary associations, the Warren in New England and the Ketochton in Virginia. The Philadelphia association also provided leadership in organizing the Charleston Association in the Carolinas in 1751." [11] An influential figure was Shubal Stearns: "Shubael Stearns, a New England Separate Baptist, migrated to Sandy Creek, North Carolina, in 1755 and initiated a revival that quickly penetrated the entire Piedmont region. The churches he organized were brought together in 1758 to form the Sandy Creek Association". [11] Stearns was brother-in-law of Daniel Marshall, who was born in Windsor, Connecticut and "is generally considered the first great Baptist leader in Georgia. He founded Kiokee Baptist Church, the oldest continuing Baptist congregation in the state". [12] Also, Wait Palmer, of Toland, Connecticut, [13] :84 - 85 may have influenced African American Christianity in the South: "The Silver Bluff, South Carolina, revival was a seminal development, whose role among blacks rivalled that played by the Sandy Creek revival of the Separate Baptists, to which it was indirectly related. It was probably the same Wait Palmer who had baptized Shubal Stearns in 1751 who came to Silver Bluff in 1775, baptizing and constituting a church. Abraham Marshall, who encouraged the later offshoots, was a Separate Baptist of the Sandy Creek school. The revival at the Silver Bluff plantation of George Galphin (some twelve miles from Augusta, Georgia) had brought David George to the Afro-Baptist faith and had provided a ministry for George Liele". [13] :188 According to Thomas S. Kidd, "As early as 1758, Sandy Creek missionaries helped organize a slave congregation, the Bluestone Church, on the plantation of William Byrd III, which may have been the first independently functioning African American church in North America. The church did not last long, but it reflected the Baptists' commitment to evangelizing African Americans". [14] :249 And according to Gayraud S. Wilmore, "The preaching of New England Congregationalists such as Jonathan Edwards about the coming millennium, and his conviction that Christians were called to prepare for it, reached the slaves through the far-ranging missionary work of white evangelists such as Shubal Stearns, Wait Palmer, and Matthew Moore - all of whom left Congregationalism and became Separatist Baptist preachers in the plantation country of Virginia, North and South Carolina, and Georgia". [15] :168

Buckle

A billboard near the center of Alabama Go to church....jpg
A billboard near the center of Alabama

Several locations are occasionally referred to as "the Buckle of the Bible Belt":

Political and cultural context

There has been research that links evangelical Protestantism with social conservatism. [21] In 1950, President Harry S. Truman told Catholic leaders he wanted to send an ambassador to the Vatican. Truman said the leading Democrats in Congress approved, but they warned him, "it would defeat Democratic Senators and Congressmen in the Bible Belt." [22]

In presidential elections, the Bible Belt states of Alabama, Mississippi, South Carolina, and Texas have voted for the Republican candidate in all elections since 1980; Oklahoma has supported the Republican presidential candidate in every election since 1968. Other Bible Belt states have voted for the Republican presidential candidate in the majority of elections since 1980, but have gone to the Democratic candidate either once or twice since then. However, with the exception of Mississippi, historical geographer Barry Vann shows that counties in the upland areas of the Appalachians and the Ozarks have a more conservative voting pattern than the counties located in the coastal plains. [23]

Outside the United States

Australia

In Australia, the term "Bible Belt" has been used to refer to areas within individual cities, which have a high concentration of Christians, usually centralised around a megachurch, for example: [24]

Toowoomba city in Queensland has long been regarded as fertile ground for Christian fundamentalist right-wing movements [26] that adhere to biblical literalism, particularly those within the Pentecostal and charismatic stream of Christianity. This was exemplified by the highly publicised rise and subsequent fall of Howard Carter [27] and the Logos Foundation in the 1980s. The Logos Foundation and other similar movements that have followed it, operate in a controlling, authoritarian and almost cultish manner, contributing to their notoriety. [26] Other similarly conservative Pentecostal churches within the city have, since that time, banded together into a loose federation known as the Toowoomba Christian Leaders' Network. [28] (note - most traditional church denominations have their own, separate ecumenical group) This network views itself as having a divine mission to 'take the city for the Lord' and as such, endorses elements of religious right-wing political advocacy, [29] such as the Australian Christian Lobby(ACL). ACL's former managing director who was raised in the Logos Foundation and is a former Toowoomba City councillor is Lyle Shelton. These church groups are strongly associated with North American trends such as the New Apostolic Reformation, Dominion theology, Five-fold ministry thinking, Kingdom Now theology and revivalism. They support the achievement of a type of theocratic society where conservative and literal interpretations of the bible are the dominant drivers of government, education, the Arts, the media and entertainment. Churches involved in this group currently include the successor organization to the Logos Foundation, the Toowoomba City Church, along with the Range Christian Fellowship, Spring Street Assembly of God, Christian Outreach Centre, Hume Ridge Church of Christ, Revival Ministries of Australia Shiloh Centre, the Edge Christian Centre and many others.

Canada

The province of Saskatchewan has been referred to as Canada's Bible Belt with a significant Catholic, Anabaptist population and other Protestants. [30]

Estonia

Census results show religious belief in the country is more prevalent in the east running from north to south along the border with Russia, particularly in those areas with large populations of Russian Orthodox, Estonian Orthodox and Orthodox Old Believers.

Finland

Conservative Laestadianism, a Finnish Lutheran revival, is widespread in northern (Northern Ostrobothnia and Lapland (Finland)) and central parts (Northern Savonia) of Finland. [31]

Germany

Rural portions of Bavaria, approximately stretching from Franconia into Württemberg, constitute Germany's Bible Belt with mostly Catholics [32] , some Lutherans and Reformed Protestants. An area in Erzgebirge in Saxony has been described also as the "Saxon Bible Belt" with a notable evangelical Protestant/Christian fundamentalist/free church community, as well as some conservative Lutheran parishes that are opposed to homosexual marriage. Nevertheless, the Evangelical-Lutheran Church of Saxony approved church resolutions regarding the issue regardless of opinions within those parishes. [33] [34] [35] [36] [37]

Norway

The Bible Belt of Norway is located mainly in the western and southern parts of the country, and contains numerous devout Lutherans.

Netherlands

The Bible Belt of the Netherlands stretches from Zeeland, through the West-Betuwe and Veluwe, to the northern parts of the province Overijssel. In this region, orthodox Calvinists prevail.

New Zealand

In New Zealand, Mount Roskill, Auckland, contains the highest number of churches per capita in the country, and is the home of several Christian political candidates. [38] The electorate was one of the last in the country to go "wet", in 1999, having formerly been a dry area where the selling of alcohol was prohibited. [39]

At the 2013 New Zealand census, the Mangere–Otahuhu local board area of Auckland had the highest concentration of Christians in New Zealand, with 67.7 percent of the local board's 71,000 residents identifying as such. [40]

Poland

South and East parts of Poland are much more religious than North and West [41] . See Poland A and B.

Slovakia

In the eastern and northern parts of Slovakia, Christians comprise a majority, in some towns and villages almost 100%. [42]

Soviet Union

Before its independence, Soviet Ukraine was known as the Bible Belt of the Soviet Union with a significant proportion of Baptists. [43]

Sweden

The area normally called the Bible Belt of Sweden is centered on Jönköping in southern Sweden and contains numerous free churches. There are also numerous conservative Lutheran Laestadians in the Torne valley area in the far north of the country.

United Kingdom and Ireland

In Northern Ireland, the area in County Antrim stretching from roughly Ballymoney to Larne and centred in the area of Ballymena is often referred to as a Bible Belt. This is because the area is heavily Protestant with a large evangelical community. From 1970 to 2010, the MP for North Antrim was Ian Paisley, a Free Presbyterian minister well known for his theological fundamentalism. The town of Ballymena, the largest town in the constituency, is often referred to as the "buckle" of the Bible Belt. In the Republic of Ireland, County Wicklow and western parts of County Cork have the highest population of Protestants. [44]

See also

Related Research Articles

Baptists denomination of Protestant Christianity

Baptists are Christians distinguished by baptizing professing believers only, and doing so by complete immersion. Baptist churches also generally subscribe to the tenets of soul competency/liberty, salvation through faith alone, scripture alone as the rule of faith and practice, and the autonomy of the local congregation. Baptists generally recognize two ordinances: baptism and the Lord's supper.

Second Great Awakening

The Second Great Awakening was a Protestant religious revival during the early 19th century in the United States. The movement began around 1790, gained momentum by 1800 and, after 1820, membership rose rapidly among Baptist and Methodist congregations whose preachers led the movement. It was past its peak by the late 1840s. The Second Great Awakening reflected Romanticism characterized by enthusiasm, emotion, and an appeal to the supernatural. It rejected the skeptical rationalism and deism of the Enlightenment.

Christian fundamentalism began in the late 19th and early 20th centuries among British and American Protestants as a reaction to theological liberalism and cultural modernism. Fundamentalists argued that 19th-century modernist theologians had misinterpreted or rejected certain doctrines, especially biblical inerrancy, that they viewed as the fundamentals of the Christian faith. Fundamentalists are almost always described as having a literal interpretation of the Bible. A few scholars label Catholics who reject modern theology in favor of more traditional doctrines as fundamentalists. Scholars debate how much the terms "evangelical" and "fundamentalist" are synonymous. In keeping with traditional Christian doctrines concerning biblical interpretation, the role Jesus plays in the Bible, and the role of the church in society, fundamentalists usually believe in a core of Christian beliefs that include the historical accuracy of the Bible and all its events as well as the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.

The Third Great Awakening refers to a hypothetical historical period proposed by William G. McLoughlin that was marked by religious activism in American history and spans the late 1850s to the early 20th century. It affected pietistic Protestant denominations and had a strong element of social activism. It gathered strength from the postmillennial belief that the Second Coming of Christ would occur after mankind had reformed the entire earth. It was affiliated with the Social Gospel Movement, which applied Christianity to social issues and gained its force from the awakening, as did the worldwide missionary movement. New groupings emerged, such as the Holiness movement and Nazarene movements, Jehovah's Witnesses, Spiritualism, Theosophy, Thelema, and Christian Science.

The Methodist Episcopal Church, South, or Methodist Episcopal Church South (MEC,S), was the Methodist denomination resulting from the 19th-century split over the issue of slavery in the Methodist Episcopal Church (MEC). Disagreement on this issue had been increasing in strength for decades between churches of the North and South; in 1844 it resulted in a schism at the General Conference of the MEC held in Louisville, Kentucky.

History of religion in the United States Aspect of history

The history of religion in the United States began with European settlers. Not counting some temporary settlements that left no permanent impact, the earliest influences arrived with the English Pilgrim settlers who arrived in Massachusetts in 1620. Their Protestant faith motivated their movement as a community where they could practice in peace.

First Great Awakening

The First Great Awakening or the Evangelical Revival was a series of Christian revivals that swept Britain and its Thirteen Colonies between the 1730s and 1740s. The revival movement permanently affected Protestantism as adherents strove to renew individual piety and religious devotion. The Great Awakening marked the emergence of Anglo-American evangelicalism as a transdenominational movement within the Protestant churches. In the United States, the term Great Awakening is most often used, while in the United Kingdom, it is referred to as the Evangelical Revival.

Fourth Great Awakening

The Fourth Great Awakening was a Christian awakening that some scholars — most notably economic historian Robert Fogel — say took place in the United States in the late 1960s and early 1970s, while others look at the era following World War II. The terminology is controversial, with many historians believing the religious changes that took place in the US during these years were not equivalent to those of the first three great awakenings. Thus, the idea of a Fourth Great Awakening itself has not been generally accepted.

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Christianity in the United States

Christianity is the most adhered to religion in the United States, with 75% of polled American adults identifying themselves as Christian in 2015. This is down from 85% in 1990, lower than 81.6% in 2001, and slightly lower than 78% in 2012. About 62% of those polled claim to be members of a church congregation. The United States has the largest Christian population in the world, with nearly 240 million Christians, although other countries have higher percentages of Christians among their populations.

Baptists in Ukraine

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Protestantism division within Christianity, originating from the Reformation in the 16th century against the Roman Catholic Church, that rejects the Roman Catholic doctrines of papal supremacy and sacraments

Protestantism is the second largest form of Christianity with collectively between 800 million and more than 900 million adherents worldwide or nearly 40% of all Christians. It originated with the 16th century Reformation, a movement against what its followers perceived to be errors in the Roman Catholic Church. Protestants reject the Roman Catholic doctrine of papal supremacy and sacraments, but disagree among themselves regarding the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist. They emphasize the priesthood of all believers, justification by faith alone rather than by good works, and the highest authority of the Bible alone in faith and morals. The "five solae" summarise basic theological differences in opposition to the Roman Catholic Church.

Protestantism is the largest grouping of Christians in the United States with its combined denominations collectively accounting for about half the country's population or 150 million people. Simultaneously, this corresponds to around 20% of the world's total Protestant population. America has the largest number of Protestants of any country in the world. Baptists account for about one third of American Protestants. The Southern Baptist Convention is the largest single Protestant denomination in the United States with one-tenth of American Protestants.

History of Protestantism in the United States

Christianity was introduced with the first European settlers beginning in the 16th and 17th centuries. Colonists from Northern Europe introduced Protestantism in its Anglican and Reformed forms to Plymouth Colony, Massachusetts Bay Colony, New Netherland, Virginia Colony, and Carolina Colony. The first arrivals were adherents to Anglicanism, Congregationalism, Presbyterianism, Lutheranism, Quakerism, Anabaptism and the Moravian Church from British, German, Dutch, and Nordic stock. America emerged as a Protestant majority nation, with significant minorities of Roman Catholics and Jews.

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  23. Barry Vann, In Search of Ulster Scots Land; Barry Vann, "Natural Liberty in the Bible Belt," Nomocracy in Politics (February, 2014), http://nomocracyinpolitics.com/2014/02/03/natural-liberty-in-the-bible-belt-an-explanation-of-conservative-voting-patterns-in-southern-appalachia-by-barry-a-vann/ Archived 2014-02-03 at the Wayback Machine
  24. "Bible Belt wants to tighten a grip on power". The Age. Melbourne. 15 September 2004.
  25. "Perth suburbs by religion: evangelicals head to the northern suburbs". The West Australian. Retrieved 1 May 2019.
  26. 1 2 https://espace.library.uq.edu.au/view/UQ:8027/HARRISON_eprint_.pdf
  27. http://www.lifemessenger.org/HTML/AboutUs/TheMessenger/TheStory.php%5B%5D
  28. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-02-14. Retrieved 2015-01-17.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  29. https://www.facebook.com/Christian-Leaders-Network-Toowoomba-199607780060750/
  30. Wells, Kristopher. "Progressive Albertans are challenging province's Bible Belt stereotypes". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 22 August 2017.
  31. "FENNIA 2002". www.helsinki.fi. Retrieved 3 February 2018.
  32. According to a 2011 census, Bavaria is still predominatly Catholic.
  33. Erklärung 144 sächsischer Kirchgemeinden zum familiären Zusammenleben im Pfarrhaus
  34. Evangelikale in Sachsen – Ein Bericht. Der sächsische Biblebelt. In: Website von Weiterdenken – Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung Sachsen
  35. Jennifer Stange: Evangelikale in Sachsen, Dresden 2014
  36. Evlks.de:„Segnung von Paaren in Eingetragener Lebenspartnerschaft“ in Sachsen möglich – Beschluss der Kirchenleitung vom 27. Oktober 2016 Archived 2016-10-19 at the Wayback Machine
  37. Evangelisch.de: Sächsische Kirche ermöglicht Segnung homosexueller Paare im Gottesdienst
  38. "New Zealand". emigratenz.org. Retrieved 27 March 2015.
  39. "Tawa ditches prohibition a century after banning alcohol - 150 years of news". Stuff. Retrieved 3 February 2018.
  40. "Table 33: Religious affiliation (total responses) by territorial authority area, Auckland local board area, and sex – 2013 Census QuickStats about culture and identity". Statistics New Zealand. 15 April 2014. Archived from the original on 24 May 2014. Retrieved 18 July 2015.
  41. Wojciech Sadlon (ed.), Annuarium Statisticum Ecclesiae in Polonia AD 2018
  42. Statisticky urad SR (2001). "Religious statistics in Slovakia" (PDF). None. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-05-22.
  43. Wanne, Catherine (2006). "EVANGELICALISM AND THE RESURGENCE OF RELIGION IN UKRAINE" (PDF). The National Council for Eurasian and East European Research.
  44. Gonzo, Belfast (29 July 2005). "More news from the Bible Belt…".

Further reading