Race in Religion

There is an interesting point made in Chapter 2 in Chaves’s book, “American Religion, Contemporary Trends,” which is that

“In American society as a whole, increasing interracial contact within American religion mainly means more instances in which African Americans participate in small numbers in predominantly white groups. It does not mean more whites participating in predominantly black groups, nor does it mean a large minority presence in congregations, no matter which ethnic group is in the majority.”

This statement brings up the question of how does race effect religion? It would appear that race and ethnicity effects how and if people participate in religion according to the statement above. It reveals how minorities are proven to be the outnumbered in religious contexts while they are usually outnumbered in many other contexts of life as well. While it would be assumed that religious sanctions and churches are places for many to be welcomed, that is not the case. There has been much progression away from racism and civil rights in America yet there still seems to be disparities between races and racial tension among races. This can be proven and connected to how there have been many reported instances of African Americans having negative encounters with police officers and how groups like the Ku Klux Klan still exist today. Of course, this topic of race and the overarching theme of how it effects society is an extremely complex case and hard to summarize in one post. Yet, I believe it’s important to recognize the similarities and differences of how each race navigates through their religion in American society. How do you think race effects religion?