Immigration In America And Religions They Brought

728 words - 3 pages

Immigrates brought diverse religious ideas to the United States in the past, and still to this day. The influx of religious ideas aided to shape and change the religious landscape (religion, region, and diversity) of the United States of America. Through immigration, emigrants were able to transport their religious cultures and increase membership for many religions, in particular, Asian religions, such as Buddhist and Hindus, in the United States. Additionally, the United States saw a drastic increase in Catholicism and Muslims.
The United States can be seen as a nation of immigrants. As various cultures settled in different regions, each area had its own religious ethos (Goff and Harvey 329). Ethnic is derived from the Greek word ethos, meaning nation or people. Religion can be seen as a second language, as an ethnic carrier. Many Americans struggled with their identity, ethos, and how religion played a large part in shaping Americans. As people immigrated into the United States, issues arose about how people should function together despite different viewpoints. New people in the United States brought diverse religious views and had a difficult time getting used to the American ways (Goff and Harvey 164).
Major immigration spanned the time period of the 1820’s to 1900’s, and peaked in the 1880’s with a majority of immigrates hailing from Europe, United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany, and Scandinavia. They brought Roman Catholicism, eastern orthodoxy, Judaism, and Buddhism with them. A huge influx of mostly Catholics from Ireland and Germany drastically changed the religious landscape. The Catholic population increased from 30,000 in 1790, to 600,000 in 1830, becoming the largest single church in the country (Goff and Harvey 243). The thought of economic success sparked interest and brought a new wave of immigration further contributing to the diversity of religion seen in America. Despite the wishes of Protestant clergymen such as Josiah Strong, who feared that the relative decline of Protestantism would bring national ruin, immigrants found a crucial source of ethnic identity in their religious communities (Goff and Harvey 281). Fear of foreigners, many of whom did not speak English, and teachings by both the Protestant churches and the rationalists that the Catholic Church was irredeemably corrupt, combined to produce an...

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