Delaware is a state in the US that has a population of 971,180 inhabitants according to a study carried out in 2018. The state of Delaware allows her citizens the individual’s right to practice the religion of their choice. Due to this religion has become an integral part of Delaware’s identity and culture. 42.5% of Delaware’s population is religious. However, some areas are far more likely to attend religious services than others. The following are religions found in Delaware: Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, and the Baha’i faith. Scandinavian and Dutch Reformed first settled Delaware.
Religious Composition Of Delaware
Christianity is by far the largest religion in Delaware. These Christians identify themselves as either Protestant, Catholics or Mormons. More than half the Christians are Protestants, 23% are Catholic, and 2% are Mormon. Among the first churches were Holy Trinity Church, Barratt’s Chapel, Church of England, and the First Baptist Church among others. The Chester-bethel church which was established in 1780 has the oldest Methodist congregation which continuously gathers in Delaware up to this day. Holy Trinity Church was built in 1698 becoming the first church in Delaware.
In Delaware, Islam is an established religion however the exact number is not known. It has a sizable Muslim population and at least five mosques. There is an Islamic society in Newark that has the largest Muslim community following in Delaware. They hold communal prayers to provide an opportunity to learn Islam meet other Muslims and pray in congregation. They have also established Muslim schools such as Tarbiyah Islamic School of Delaware which gives the students a focus on Islam and practical activities.
Hindus are the second largest non-Christian group in Delaware. Population growth of Hinduism can be associated with the increased immigrants from India. They are drawn to Delaware by jobs in technology and medicine. Hinduism increased 116% between 2000 and 2010. American Hindus are considered to have the highest rates of household income as compared to other religions.
Buddhists represent the largest non-Christian religious bloc in Delaware. Buddhism originated from Asia. 1% of the population of Delaware identify themselves as Buddhists.
Judaism was introduced in Delaware by the Jewish fur traders. They formed the first Jewish organization called the Moses Montefiore Society which served as a religious, educational, and charitable organization. The first synagogue, the Reconstructionist Synagogue, was founded in 1954. They have contributed to the state in arts, science, business, medicine, and law. The Jewish population was estimated to be approximately 15,100 in 2017.
Baha’i faith is not as widespread in Delaware as it is in South Carolina where there are more practitioners of the faith. The regional Baha’i council of the Atlantic states coordinates the regional efforts to expand Baha’i, analyzes approaches to carry out growth plans, and promotes neighborhood among other activities.
Role of Religion in Delaware
Presence of many religions in Delaware makes the dominance of one faith impossible. The various faiths largely tolerate one another because they face common problems.