New research has stated that racial attitudes of black people in multiracial religious congregations resemble the views of white people.
"We find little evidence that multiracial congregations promote progressive racial views among attendees of any race or ethnicity," the researchers from Baylor University, the University of Southern California and the University of Chicago write in a study published in the Sociology of Religion.
It states that views of minorities in multiracial congregations are different to those of black or Hispanic people in non-mixed religious groups.
Researcher Kevin Dougherty, associate professor of sociology in Baylor University's College of Arts & Sciences, asked: "Whose interests are multiracial congregations serving? We want to believe that they promote a shared, integrated identity for all. But the truth may be that many are advancing a form of Anglo-conformity instead."
The team set out with the goal of finding explanations for socioeconomic differences between black and white people in the US after previous research claimed that black and Hispanic people highlight discrimination as a cause of black disadvantage whereas white people will tend to emphasize personal motivation as a reason behind black disadvantage. They found that black people tend to adopt similar views as white people in multiracial congregations.
The report points out that while faith communities across the US are becoming more diverse, "the dominant white racial frames may go unchallenged", which potentially influences minority attendees to take on the same views.
Ryon Cobbs, National Institute on Aging postdoctoral fellow at USC Davis School of Gerontology, said: "The ongoing racial desegregation taking place in America's congregations has many costs. For blacks and Hispanics, affiliation with racially diverse congregations costs them a perspective on racial inequality that is distinct from their white counterparts within and outside their racially diverse congregation."