It may also surprise us because Orthodox literature since the 1980s has tended to overemphasize (in some cases simply exaggerate) the movement of converts entering into American Orthodoxy.
Our growth, to be blunt, seems statistically insignificant. That there is growth may be a good thing, but we also need to be honest about the losses. So, if we’ve done our research, we shouldn’t be surprised to learn of losses. . . .
If we Orthodox can set aside our triumphalism for a few moments, I think we’ll find that what is happening in such cases speaks to a truth. I also think that we have before us the elephant in the room. People are leaving our church and are leaving in droves. My prediction is that unless we get another large convert movement into Orthodoxy, we will find our gains in the 1980s and 1990s were simply the “one step forward” to our “two steps back.”