Growing Religious Diversity in Bible Belt

July 28, 2001

Source: Messenger-Inquirer

On July 28, 2001, the Messenger-Inquirer reported on the growing religious diversity in the Bible Belt. "About 200 Jains and about as many Sikhs live in west-central Kentucky and Tennessee now... Bowling Green has 2,000 actively practicing Muslims, mostly Bosnian immigrants... Nashville has about 24,000 Hispanics, compared to 2,700 a decade ago." Thomas Russell and another Western Kentucky University faculty member "are charting the changes as part of the Pluralism Project...This part of the country also has Hindus, Buddhists, Jews, Messianic Jews, Ethiopian Orthodox and Coptic Christians... Overall, most immigrants [Russell has] talked to say they have felt welcome here."