Parishes close as U.S. Catholic population grows

Screenshot of a Washington Post map showing megachurches around the world.

According to the Hartford Institute for Religion Research, there are about 4,200 Catholic churches in the United States where weekly attendance is at least 2,000. This perhaps comes as a surprise to those who thought megachurches were exclusively the domain of evangelicals. Then again, megaparishes and megachurches aren’t quite the same thing — the former is driven by a growing Catholic population that must contend with parish closures and mergers. The latter is driven, usually, by a charismatic leader.

For more on this distinction, see the graphic below. And then check out this map from The Washington Post — using data from the Hartford Institute and the Leadership Network — that shows the global rise of the megachurch.  

Infographic created by Dawn Cherie Araujo using Canva with data from 2011 report, "The Changing Face of U.S. Catholic Parishes."

[Dawn Cherie Araujo is Global Sisters Report staff writer, based in Kansas City, Missouri. Follow her on Twitter @dawn_cherie]