Comprehensive Study of U.S. Mosques

Thesecond report from the US Mosque Survey 2011, which is a comprehensive study of mosques in America, was released on Saturday, June 23.The first report focused on the basic demographics of mosques and attitudes of mosque leaders to America and involvement in American society. This second report focuses on mosque activities, administration and vitality

A coalition of major American Muslim and academic organizations, including Hartford Seminary, released the report.To conduct the survey, researchers counted all mosques in America and then conducted telephone interviews with mosque leaders. More than 2,000 mosques were counted and more than 500 leaders were interviewed.

The full report –The American Mosque 2011 – report 2is available in PDF format.

The report was presented at a webinar that offered lessons learned from it.The webinar, titled”Developing an Agenda to Strengthen Our Masjids” is available as an audio and PowerPoint presentation in WMV format.It is also possible to download the PowerPointformat.

[In addition, the most recent 2010 Synagogue research complied by Steven Cohen and Synagogue 3000 is now availablehere.]

The major findings of the new mosque report are:

? Mosques in America have a good record of engaging in a wide variety of activities including:

Worship?77% of mosques conduct all five daily prayers (salah)

Educational Programs?83% hold Islamic Studies classes

Social and Group Activities?93% organize community gatherings

Interfaith?79% are involved in interfaith activities

Outreach?63% conducted an open house in the last 12 months

Social and community service activities?44% are involved in community social justice activities

? Full-time Islamic schools have experienced significant growth in the past decade: 32% of all full-time Islamic schools are K-12 as compared to 13% in 2000; and 31% of Islamic schools are now K-8/9 as compared to 6% in 2000.

? Mosques are under-staffed. Only 44% of all Imams are full-time and paid. Half of all mosques have no full-time staff. Program staff such as youth directors or outreach directors account for only 5% of all full-time staff.

? Mosques are under-financed. While mosque attendance is higher than other American religious congregations, mosque budgets are less than half the budget of other congregations. The median income for mosques is $70,000 and the median income of all congregations is $150,000.

? Almost half (48%) of Imams have at least a BA in Islam. This is an increase from 2000 when 37% of Imams had some formal degree. Only 6% of Imams received their degree in America; 94% of Imams, who have a formal degree, studied abroad to obtain a degree.

? Two-thirds (66%) of Imams were born outside the United States. Among full-time, paid Imams, 85% were born outside America.

? Almost half (47%) of Imams who have come from abroad arrived in America since 2000.

? The role of the Imam in the mosque is evolving. In 26% of all mosques, the Imam is not considered the leader, and in 55% of mosques the Imam is considered the leader (19% of mosques do not have an Imam). This is a significant change from 2000 when in 40% of mosques the Imam was not the leader and in 41% of mosques the Imam was considered the leader.

? Mosques, which have an Imam, follow three basic governance patterns: in 47% of mosques the Board and Imam share responsibilities whereby the Board runs administrative aspects of the mosque and the Imam runs religious and educational aspects; in 31% of mosques the Imam is in charge of all aspects of the mosque; and in 22% the Board is in charge of most aspects and the Imam has a minor role.

? Mosque leaders report that their mosques have a relatively high level of spirituality, brotherhood and sense of purpose.

Sponsors of the U.S. Mosque Survey 2011 include: The Hartford Institute for Religion Research (Hartford Seminary), the Association of Statisticians of American Religious Bodies, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the Islamic Society of North America, the Islamic Circle of North America, and the International Institute of Islamic Thought.

The U.S. Mosque Survey 2011 is part of a larger study of American congregations called Faith Communities Today (FACT), which is a project of the Cooperative Congregational Studies Partnership, a collaborative, multifaith coalition of American faith communities affiliated with Hartford Seminary’s Hartford Institute for Religion Research.

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