|A church in Litchfield, Connecticut.|
Connecticut is an American state located in the nation’s New England region, and it spans an area of about 5,567 square miles. According to the US Census Bureau, it was estimated that in 2017 the state was home to about 3,588,184 people. Despite being one of the smallest states in the US, Connecticut has one of the highest median household incomes in the country. Religion played a significant role in Connecticut’s history as the Puritans, a Christian denomination, were among the first communities to establish a colony in the region. Religion still plays an important role in the state as a significant portion of the population, more than 70%, claimed to belong to a particular faith.
According to a survey carried out in 2014 by Pew Forum, 33% of the residents of Connecticut identified as Roman Catholics. According to historical records, the first Catholic mass in Connecticut was conducted in the town of Lebanon. In 1881 a celebration was held in the town of Hartford in St. Peter's Parish to mark a hundred years since the first Catholic mass was held in the state. The Catholic Church in Connecticut has constructed many elementary schools and high schools such as the St. Paul Catholic High School and the Notre Dame High School which contribute to improving the education standards in the state. Despite the rich Catholic history in the state, according to Pew Forum, a high number of Catholics in the state are leaving the faith due to some reasons primarily the moral conduct of the priests.
Protestants form a significant majority of Connecticut’s population as in 2014; they comprised roughly 35% of the total residents. One of the first groups to settle in the state’s borders belonged to a Protestant sect referred to as Puritans who were fleeing the religious persecution prevalent in England at the time. Religion formed an integral part of the lives of early Puritan communities in the state as it dominated both their social and political lives. The main Protestant groups in Connecticut are Mainline Protestant and Evangelical Protestants with Mainline Protestants occupying the largest portion at approximately 17%. Evangelical Protestants make up about 13.5% of the state’s Christian community. Evangelicals who follow the Baptist tradition make up about 5% with other notable evangelical groups being the Pentecostal and Restorationist families. The most widespread Mainland Protestant group in Connecticut is the Congregationalist families. One of the Protestant churches in Connecticut, The First Cathedral situated in the town of Bloomfield, has the distinction of being the largest church building in the New England area.
Other Religion in Connecticut
Due to the influx of migrants from other regions, some religions have taken root in Connecticut. About 3% of the people in Connecticut identify as Jews with large populations living in areas such as West Hartford and Greater New Haven. Other religions such as Hinduism and Buddhism also have adherents in the state.
Religious Intolerance in Connecticut
During Connecticut’s history, residents did not believe in religious tolerance as only people who belonged to the Puritan faith were welcome in the colony. However, the US Constitution ensures that the religious freedom of every citizen is respected ensuring that residents from different faiths can live in the state.
By Benjamin Elisha Sawe
•culled from www.worldatlas.com