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The Sciences

The rise of the black Mormon

Gene ExpressionBy Razib KhanAugust 10, 2009 10:05 PM

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Pew has a new report, A Portrait of Mormons in the U.S.. Most of it is is unsurprising, but this caught my eye:

Converts are more likely than lifelong members to come from minority racial and ethnic groups. One-in-ten converts to Mormonism are black, and nearly all black Mormons are converts. An additional one-in-ten Mormon converts are Hispanic, and just 72% are white; by contrast, 91% of lifelong Mormons are white. Converts are also more than three times as likely as lifelong members to be immigrants to the U.S. (14% vs. 4%).

The sample size may be small, so the 1 in 10 figure could be a fluke, but this is striking in light of the fact that blacks did not become recognized as equal to non-blacks within the Mormon church until 1978 (people of black African ancestry were excluded from the priesthood).

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