Cathy Lynn Grossman at USA Today looks at the people who go back to the church of their youth. They are not converts, she calls them “reverts.”
According to the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, more than half of Americans say they’ve switched religions at least once, but just 9 percent of U.S. adults say they’ve returned to the pews, practices and prayers that shaped them.
They’re not converts; they’re reverts. And religious denominations are stepping up efforts to reclaim, re-energize — and sometimes re-educate — these fallen-away faithful.
Catholic churches are adding adult programs to focus on returnees who often fear their actions or choices will keep them from the sacraments, the essential rites of Catholicism. Evangelical churches steer reverts to Bible study groups to help them establish stronger religious roots.
Rabbis reach out to young adults through a program called “Next Dor” (dor is Hebrew for generation). It’s promoted by Synagogue 3000, a consortium of leaders from Reform and Conservative movements, the two largest branches of Judaism in the U.S.