Christianity still stands as New England's main faith

By VICTORIA GUAY, Foster's Online, October 30, 2005

Dover, NH (USA) -- While evangelical Christianity is gaining some ground in New England, the region's religious makeup otherwise has varied little in recent decades, remaining split roughly evenly between Protestants and Catholics, according to one expert.

?There are always going to be changes in the religious landscape that are dictated by general population shifts,? said Michelle Dillon, a University of New Hampshire sociology professor. ?However, there is still a fair amount of religious stability in New England.?

The region still has the nation's highest concentration of Catholics despite the increasing number of evangelical adherents, Dillon said.

About 37 percent of the northeast is Catholic. The South is only 16 percent Catholic, an annual Gallup poll showed last year. The poll showed Protestants are the nation's largest religious group, with half of Americans identifying themselves as such.

Protestant congregations far outnumber Catholic churches in New Hampshire, but Catholic parishes tend to be larger, said New Hampshire Council of Churches spokesman David Lamarre. The council includes 650 congregations from 10 Christian denominations.

Only a small percentage of people claim adherence to other faiths regionally and nationally.

?There are still very few Muslims in New Hampshire and Maine,?Dillon said. ?But there is a growing Buddhist population and a new interest in 'new age' religions.?

The number of people who say they don't belong to any religion has risen nationally over the last decade. The group includes atheists as well as people who consider themselves people of faith not affiliated with any organized religions.

Ten percent of Americans told Gallup last year that they are Christian, but of no particular denomination. Five percent of Americans identified with non-Christian religions such as Judaism or Islam. Nine percent of Americans said they have no religious preferences, but are agnostic or atheistic.

Two percent did not respond.

The Gallup Organization has been tracking America's religious preferences since 1948. The organization's nearly 60 years of research has shown a significant decline among Protestants, a slight downturn in the number of people who identify as Jewish and a slight rise in the number of Catholics.

Protestant affiliation fell from 69 percent in 1948 to 50 percent in 2004. Catholics rose from 21 percent in the late 1940s to 24 percent by 2004, though the percentage fluctuated over time rather than rising steadily.

When Gallup first began its research, it only offered Protestant, Catholic and Jewish as affiliations. But since 2000, the organization's choices have included no affiliation, Protestant, Roman Catholic, Jewish, Mormon, Muslim or orthodox religions such as Greek or Russian.

Religion plays an important role in the personal lives of most Americans, according to the Pew Research Center. The number of people who call religion very important to them has gradually increased over the past two decades after declining sharply between the mid-1960s and late 1970s.

Nearly two-thirds of Americans, or 64 percent, call religion very important. Nine-in-10 pray at least once a week, and the overwhelming majority of people described God in very personal terms, the organization has reported.
We Need Your Help to Train the
Buddhist AI Chat Bot
(Neural Operator for Responsible Buddhist Understanding)

For Malaysians and Singaporeans, please make your donation to the following account:

Account Name: Bodhi Vision
Account No:. 2122 00000 44661
Bank: RHB

The SWIFT/BIC code for RHB Bank Berhad is: RHBBMYKLXXX
Address: 11-15, Jalan SS 24/11, Taman Megah, 47301 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
Phone: 603-9206 8118

Note: Please indicate your name in the payment slip. Thank you.

Dear Friends in the Dharma,

We seek your generous support to help us train NORBU, the word's first Buddhist AI Chat Bot.

Here are some ways you can contribute to this noble cause:

One-time Donation or Loan: A single contribution, regardless of its size, will go a long way in helping us reach our goal and make the Buddhist LLM a beacon of wisdom for all.

How will your donation / loan be used? Download the NORBU White Paper for details.

For Malaysians and Singaporeans, please make your donation to the following account:

Account Name: Bodhi Vision
Account No:. 2122 00000 44661
Bank: RHB

The SWIFT/BIC code for RHB Bank Berhad is: RHBBMYKLXXX
Address: 11-15, Jalan SS 24/11, Taman Megah, 47301 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
Phone: 603-9206 8118

Note: Please indicate your purpose of payment (loan or donation) in the payment slip. Thank you.

Once payment is banked in, please send the payment slip via email to: Your donation/loan will be published and publicly acknowledged on the Buddhist Channel.

Spread the Word: Share this initiative with your friends, family and fellow Dharma enthusiasts. Join "Friends of Norbu" at: Together, we can build a stronger community and create a positive impact on a global scale.

Volunteer: If you possess expertise in AI, natural language processing, Dharma knowledge in terms of Buddhist sutras in various languages or related fields, and wish to lend your skills, please contact us. Your knowledge and passion could be invaluable to our project's success.

Your support is part of a collective effort to preserve and disseminate the profound teachings of Buddhism. By contributing to the NORBU, you become a "virtual Bodhisattva" to make Buddhist wisdom more accessible to seekers worldwide.

Thank you for helping to make NORBU a wise and compassionate Buddhist Chatbot!

May you be blessed with inner peace and wisdom,

With deepest gratitude,

Kooi F. Lim
On behalf of The Buddhist Channel Team

Note: To date, we have received the following contributions for NORBU:
US$ 75 from Gary Gach (Loan)
US$ 50 from Chong Sim Keong
MYR 300 from Wilson Tee
MYR 500 from Lim Yan Pok
MYR 50 from Oon Yeoh
MYR 200 from Ooi Poh Tin
MYR 300 from Lai Swee Pin
MYR 100 from Ong Hooi Sian
MYR 1,000 from Fam Sin Nin
MYR 500 from Oh teik Bin
MYR 300 from Yeoh Ai Guat
MYR 300 from Yong Lily
MYR 50 from Bandar Utama Buddhist Society
MYR 1,000 from Chiam Swee Ann
MYR 1,000 from Lye Veei Chiew
MYR 1,000 from Por Yong Tong
MYR 80 from Lee Wai Yee
MYR 500 from Pek Chee Hen
MYR 300 from Hor Tuck Loon
MYR 1,000 from Wise Payments Malaysia Sdn Bhd
MYR 200 from Teo Yen Hua
MYR 500 from Ng Wee Keat
MYR 10,000 from Chang Quai Hung, Jackie (Loan)
MYR 10,000 from K. C. Lim & Agnes (Loan)
MYR 10,000 from Juin & Jooky Tan (Loan)
MYR 100 from Poh Boon Fong (on behalf of SXI Buddhist Students Society)
MYR 10,000 from Fam Shan-Shan (Loan)
MYR 10,000 from John Fam (Loan)
MYR 500 from Phang Cheng Kar
MYR 100 from Lee Suat Yee
MYR 500 from Teo Chwee Hoon (on behalf of Lai Siow Kee)
MYR 200 from Mak Yuen Chau

We express our deep gratitude for the support and generosity.

If you have any enquiries, please write to: