UNIT: Religion in the USA
LEARN THE WORDS:
| pluralistic - множественный || sanctuary - святилище, приют |
| explicitly - явно, недвусмысленн || dissenter - сектант, раскольник |
| persecution - преследование, гонение || influx - наплыв |
| rivalry - соперничество || to proliferate - распространяться |
| to spur - побуждать || a preacher - проповедник |
In matters of religion the United States has long been one of the most pluralistic of nations. The lack of a national religion resulted in religious freedom being explicitly recognized in the Bill of Rights attached to the original Constitution.
One of the reasons for which many of the first immigrants left their own countries was to escape religious persecution. From earliest times religion has offered strength and solace to Americans of many faiths. It has also been a factor in shaping the Nation's history. Centuries ago the global rivalry between Catholicism and Protestantism, helped to spur exploration and colonization of the New World. Britain's chronic need for new settlers to people her empire encouraged her to allow her American Colonies a wide measure of religious freedom. That policy, in turn, established America as a likely sanctuary for dissenters from many lands. These immigrants brought with them their own particular brands of different religions.
America became a safer haven for believers and non-believers alike when the Constitution and the Bill of Rights made freedom of conscience a matter of right rather than privilege for the first time in history.
The variety of religions increased at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries with the massive influx of immigrants from central and southern Europe. Succeeding decades saw old churches altered and many influential new ones born. And most of these churches involved themselves in causes ranging from temperance and foreign missions to slavery.
Overwhelmingly Protestant at first, America became increasingly pluralistic after the Civil War as successive waves of immigration brought more believers of the Roman Catholic, Jewish, and Eastern Orthodox persuasions. The majority of the population, however, belongs to one of the 1,000 of Protestant Churches. Nearly a quarter of the present population is Catholic and there are also about 6 million Jews.
With new religious concepts proliferating, a common phenomenon in the United States has become the rise of new Churches or sects, such as the Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses and Christian Scientists. By the end of the 20th century there were more than 250 established cults, sects, and denominations. To what can this extraordinary richness be attributed? Some faiths — like Anglicanism and Catholicism— outwardly changed relatively little for many years. Others — like Quakerism — were greatly altered by life in the New World. Still others arrived with the 19th century immigrant tide or were "made in America".
In America there used to be many preachers traveling around the nation with their bibles. There are very few of them now, as most preachers make use of television to preach their message.
Answer the following questions:
Is the information TRUE, FALSE or NOT GIVEN?
Match the words and the translation.
Read about the Past Simple and the Present Perfect and choose the proper form of the verb.
Change the sentences using the Participle I /Participle II.
Translate the sentences into English.
Make up sentences with the following words:
Express your opinion on the following: