The Episcopal Church has marked a grim milestone when it reported membership has dipped below 2 million within the United States for the first time in decades.
It had 1,951,907 stateside members in 2010, down 3 percent from the previous year, according to its research office.
Membership has been steadily declining since the 1960s, when it and several other historic Protestant denominations were at the peak of their membership and cultural influence. There have been long-running debates over the causes of the declines. Theories include liberal trends in theology and/or sexuality, the wearisome fighting over those issues and the declining birth rates of the denominations’ largely white, better-educated membership.
Update: There is more on this there as well.