Diversity Disappointment

A recent Pew Research Poll ranks 31 American religious groups according to their racial diversity. The Episcopal Church ranks 25 out of 31.

After decades of emphasizing racial inclusiveness and affirmative action appointments, it must surely disappointing to church leaders that our church remains overwhelmingly white. Only 4% black and 2% Latino. Asians barely register.

This is not true in our diocese–or in our parish, for example; both would be higher, though I don’t know the actual numbers. But the national data suggest that simply appointing or electing non-whites to high office will not itself bring rank-and-file people of color into our congregations.

I don’t have any new and bright ideas. It’s interesting, though, that the most diverse denominations–such as Seventh-Day Adventists, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and Roman Catholics–emphasize religion and faith over outreach and politics. —J. Douglas Ousley

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