What Mitt Romney’s religion has in common with Judaism

Courtesy of Mitt Romey's official website: http://www.mittromney.com/gallery

Micah Gill, Staff Writer

By Micah Gill, Copy Editor

It is well known that Mitt Romney, the Republican presidential candidate for president, is a Mormon, meaning he belongs to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

But what most Jews are not aware of is that Mormonism and Judaism are about the same size in the U.S. The current American Mormon population is just under two percent of American citizens, about the same percentage as the American Jewish population,  according to the latest United States Religious Landscape Survey of the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life.

Two recent Jewish population studies reported in the Jewish Daily Forward found the U.S. Jewish population to be approximately 6.5 million, or 1.7 percent of Americans. Similarly, recent surveys reported on the LDS website have found the number of Mormons to be about 6.2 milion, also 1.7 percent.  

And though that percentage may seem small, it is larger than that of Jehovah’s Witnesses, 0.7 percent; Buddhists, 0.7 percent; Muslims, 0.6 percent; and Hindus, 0.4 percent, according to the Religious Landscape Survey.

Another similarity between Judaisn and Mormonism in the US is that both religions may be growing – or not.

According to Leonard Saxe, a social psychologist specializing in the development of Jewish identity, the Jewish population is in fact growing, even factoring in intermarriage.

Membership among Mormons has been rising, and some surveys say it is the fastest growing Christian denomination in the U.S. According to the 2012 Religious Congregations and Membership Study,  it is the fastest-growing religion in 26 states, all in the West.

But on the other side of the coin, Armand Mauss, American sociologist specializing in the sociology of religion, reported that the growth of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons) had slowed, especially in conversions. There are about one fourth of the conversians today as there were in 1987, and the birthrate is also down.