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Religious pluralism is a fact of American life, according to a number of religion writers. Gregg Easter-brook writes, "Within driving distance of my home now stand a Hindu temple, a Sikh gurdwara, a Mormon temple, and several mosques. Other typical American communities, not just the downtown areas on the coasts, have similarly varied religious landscapes—and also offer places of worship for Jains, Wiccans, Zoroastrians, and others.

"...The rise of plural beliefs in the United States should not suggest that Christianity is in decline. Far from it: The Christian faith has flourished alongside rival beliefs. According to an April 2001 Gallup poll, 82 percent of Americans now describe themselves as Christian—down only a little from 89 percent in 1947.... In the same April 2001 poll, 10 percent put themselves into all non-Christian faith categories, and 8 percent said they were not believers. Christians outnumber adherents of all other beliefs by eight to one.

"...Thanks to the Founders' instincts regarding separation of church and state, all faiths are flourishing in the United States. Attendance at religious services is higher here than in any other Western nation and by some measures higher than in any nation in the world. (It's hard to know what to make of attendance figures for the countries that mandate faith.)

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Ministry at Ground Zero
March 4, 2002

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