|SERMONS, ESSAYS AND OPINIONS||
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States. Its major city is Boston. It was initially founded by Puritans but today Protestants make up less than one-third of the state's population. Around half the population is Roman Catholic because of immigration from Ireland, Quebec, Italy, Portugal, and Puerto Rico. In recent years there has been a strong advocacy of gay marriage in this state.
Given that Massachusetts was founded and settled by Puritans in the 17th century there has historically been a large Protestant population, especially of the Congregational and United Church of Christ churches. Both of these denominations.
Today Protestants make up less than a quarter of the population and Roman Catholicism predominate because of immigration from Ireland, Italy and other countries with strong ties to Roman Catholicism. There are over 3 million Roman Catholics living in Massachusetts.
There is also a large Jewish population which came to the area in the early twentienth century, and now almost 300,000 Jews live in Massachusetts.
A number of religious off-shoots from Christianity have roots in Massachusetts. These include Christian Science, whose founder made Boston the world headquarters for the religion. The world headquarters of the Unitarian-Universalist Church is also located in Boston.
The religious affiliations of the people of Massachusetts, according to a 2001 survey, are shown in the table below
- Christian – 69%
- Catholic – 44%
- Protestant – 22%
- Baptist – 4%
- Congregational/United Church of Christ – 3%
- Episcopal – 3%
- Methodist – 2%
- Pentecostal – 2%
- Other Protestant or general Protestant – 8%
- Jewish – 2%
- Other Religions – 6%
- Non-Religious – 16%
- Refused to answer – 7%
- "American Religious Identification Survey". Exhibit 15. The Graduate Center, City University of New York. Website: www.gc.cuny.edu/faculty/research_briefs/aris/key_findings.htm