NWARK rich with faith/belief diversity

Aside from several places to visit, hike and enjoy, Northwest Arkansas is home to a growing and diverse religious population. Residents new to Northwest Arkansas can find a place of worship as well as form relationships with individuals of other faiths.

Northwest Arkansas is most definitely in the Bible Belt, and it’s evidenced by many traditional denominations from Baptists to Pentecostals and everything in between. These groups make up some of the largest religious populations in Northwest Arkansas. Aside from being historically consistent in the area, each group is consistently growing each year with new churches cropping up.

Throughout Northwest Arkansas, the process of finding a church or community to fit pretty much any denomination, faith or belief system is as easy as looking up information on your phone. We make that even easier by highlighting the more prominent groups found in Northwest Arkansas.

Hindu

Within the past several years, the Hindu population has seen significant growth in Northwest Arkansas. Events that support the growing community such are Bollywood movies playing at the Malco Theater on 46th Street in Rogers.

Hindu-friendly organizations such as HANWA help strengthen the Hindu community in Northwest Arkansas as well as educate about Hinduism.

Jewish

A group that has consistently grown since 2004 is the Jewish community, Etz Chaim. This Jewish community has consistently shown an inclusive attitude towards individuals and groups interested in Judaism.

Etz Chaim is a family oriented congregation that is fully made up of various Jewish families. The community is responsible for bringing those of the Jewish faith together.

Another congregation, the Temple Shalom, can be found in Fayetteville. The close-knit congregation spreads a word of inclusiveness to all followers of Judaism as well as those wishing to learn.

Buddhism

A seldom spotlighted community—but all the same growing—is the Northwest Arkansas Buddhist community. There are at least three groups or temples in Northwest Arkansas that represent the Buddhist faith.

Buddhark is an online resource that serves Buddhists in the Northwest Arkansas area. The idea behind Buddhark is to make up for the lack of online resources for practicing Buddhists in the area.

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (also known as Mormon)

Mormonism has been a growing faith in the United States and is a well-established church in Northwest Arkansas.

Mormons moving to the area can connect with the appropriate stake (their terminology for church building) at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints website. There are stakes in Bentonville and Springdale, as well as others in the surrounding area.

Muslim

The Islamic community is a fast-growing population and is responsible for holding festivals celebrating Ramadan and Eid-Ul-Adha in Northwest Arkansas. The local Islamic community is made of various ethnic backgrounds, which is a reflection of the region as a whole.

ICNWA and BIC serve as focal points for the community by providing places of prayer. Each building is open to the five prayers and holds services as well as programs for the youth on weekends.

Catholic

There is a large and growing population of Catholics in Northwest Arkansas.

St. Stephen Catholic Church in Bentonville offers a place for practicing Catholics to both follow their faith and join in services each week. That’s just one example, however. Rogers, Bella Vista and Fayetteville and Springdale all have at least one Catholic church in their communities.

Atheist

Atheists, agnostics and free thinkers have a growing community in Northwest Arkansas. Through solid development over the years, each group has progressed to be a solid presence in the area.

ASF or Arkansas Society of Freethinking provides a safe place for Atheists, Agnostics and free thinkers to share their thoughts. The Arkansas Society of Freethinking also puts together several events around the Northwest Arkansas.

Humanist

Humanism is relatively new to the Northwest Arkansas area with an altogether different following. With a belief centralized in human beings, the Humanist community believes more so in justice and equality for all than a given deity.

The NWA Humanists in Fayetteville offer a place of reason and logic for those interested in Humanism or to practice their beliefs.

Northwest Arkansas is constantly growing and includes various religions as well as ethnic communities. The community is always looking for anyone willing to find a home among a variety of different people. If we missed your religion or belief system, leave a comment down below.

By Wayne C. Hahne|Writing staff at Jamie’s Notebook

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