Friday, 30 April 2010

African Methodist Episcopal Church

The African Methodist Episcopal Church, (or AMEC), is a.... as you might guess, a Methodist church created by African-Americans. It is not however, and states over and over again on their website, exclusively for Black people, and will welcome anyone from any denomination through their doors.

The AMEC was founded in Philadelphia, in 1818, and only went ahead when the main founder, and first Bishop of AMEC, Richard Allen won a number of lawsuits allowing him, and his congregation, the right to religous autonomy in 1805 and 1815.

They are still going to this day, and have a rough congregation size of around 7,000.
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Thursday, 29 April 2010

Religion in America

The Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints (FLDS) is a fundamentalist mormon group that has split from the larger, more mainstream religion. Whilst the religion has a fairly small following, believed to be in the region of around 10,000 people, it has gained a substantial amount of notoriety over recent years. One of the reasons it has been in the public eye is due to its acceptance andencouragement of polygamy among its members, something that is frowned upon by the more mainstream followers of the religion. Another feature that distinguishes the FLDS from lots of other religions in the USA is the extent of control the church exercises over its members and the compliance it demands, such as dressing a certain way and raising children in a certain manner. A further aspect of the church's extemist ideals and beliefs can be found in its articles of Faith, in which it is stated that they believe in 'the gift of tongues, prophecies... and visions'. All these factors suggest a fairly extreme and controlling religion, the likes of which may be limited to somewhere such as the USA, where so many of the population are strongly religious and feel it is an integral part of everyday life. The fact that the religions alleged prophet, Warren Jeffs, was arrested in 2007 due to sex abuse crimes and none of the followers really spoke out or left the religion shows the extent of religious belief within the USA, and especially within the FLDS.