The only other Christian faith to grow at such rates is the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints, again hardly an easy-going religion. Mormonism remains a favourite butt of comedians, because of its historic belief (now abandoned) in polygamy and its ban on such worldly pleasures as beer, coffee, tea and “passionate kissing” outside wedlock; there will be more fun poked if Mitt Romney wins the Republican nomination. But clean-living certainty sells: over the past half-century the church has grown sevenfold, with half the world's 13m Mormons living outside the United States.Now, think as you may that it is normal to be talking so much about Mormons right now, right? Sure, Mormonism has been on the front page of the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, etc. lately. But this is especially shocking because the Economist just recently dedicated an entire article (a longish one, at that!). In the more recent article (in the 19 Dec issue) is written:
Practising ones [Mormons] shun alcohol, cigarettes and even coffee. They work hard, marry, have lots of children and set aside an evening each week for quality time with the family. The 53,000 dark-suited, white-shirted, tie-wearing Mormon missionaries who fish for souls around the world can seem like America personified: earnest, friendly, optimistic, fond of Jesus and eager to tell you about it.How exciting to get so much coverage by the Economist!