Mike McMullen is the lead researcher for Bahá’í data collection for Faith Communities Today (FACT), an interfaith research project which since the late-1990s has been developing and fielding questionnaires to most major denominations and faith traditions in America. This comparative research project surveys members of groups as wide-ranging as the Bahá’ís, Baptists, Mormons, Muslims and Methodists and others (see http://faithcommunitiestoday.org/). This project is headquartered at Hartford Seminary in Connecticut at the Hartford Institute for Religious Research.
As the lead researcher for the Bahá’í component of FACT, Mike has helped collect Bahá’í data on trends related to: community worship, social service programs, community mission and identity, programs for youth, demographic information about the members, community leadership, conflict in the community, and finances. These questions were asked in surveys in 2000, 2005, 2008, 2010, 2015 and 2020. The result is a one-of-a-kind Bahá’í dataset describing its members, growth, and community characteristics. He has just compiled the data for the FACT 2020 survey, and his Wilmette Institute talk will give an overview of these findings. The Bahá’í community provided FACT data in late January and early February 2020, right before the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown.