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The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States. Its major city is Boston. It was initially founded by Puritans but today Protestants make up less than one-third of the state's population. Around half the population is Roman Catholic because of immigration from Ireland, Quebec, Italy, Portugal, and Puerto Rico. In recent years there has been a strong advocacy of gay marriage in this state.







Given that Massachusetts was founded and settled by Puritans in the 17th century there has historically been a large Protestant population, especially of the Congregational and United Church of Christ churches. Both of these denominations.

Today Protestants make up less than a quarter of the population and Roman Catholicism predominate because of immigration from Ireland, Italy and other countries with strong ties to Roman Catholicism. There are over 3 million Roman Catholics living in Massachusetts.

There is also a large Jewish population which came to the area in the early twentienth century, and now almost 300,000 Jews live in Massachusetts.

A number of religious off-shoots from Christianity have roots in Massachusetts. These include Christian Science, whose founder made Boston the world headquarters for the religion. The world headquarters of the Unitarian-Universalist Church is also located in Boston.

The religious affiliations of the people of Massachusetts, according to a 2001 survey, are shown in the table below[1]

  • Christian – 69%
    • Catholic – 44%
    • Protestant – 22%
      • Baptist – 4%
      • Congregational/United Church of Christ – 3%
      • Episcopal – 3%
      • Methodist – 2%
      • Pentecostal – 2%
      • Other Protestant or general Protestant – 8%
  • Jewish – 2%
  • Other Religions – 6%
  • Non-Religious – 16%
  • Refused to answer – 7%


  1. "American Religious Identification Survey". Exhibit 15. The Graduate Center, City University of New York. Website:

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