Washington has record number of Catholic converts on Easter

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Washington area has a record number of Catholic converts joining the church this Easter.

The Washington Post reports that while conversion numbers have fallen national in the Catholic Church, there has been an increase in the Washington area. The region also has seen an increasing population.

The Archdiocese of Washington says it is welcoming 1,306 new Catholics this Easter. That's more than the diocese has ever recorded.

According to the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate that studies American Catholicism at Georgetown University, 72 percent of new converts cite marriage as an important reason for joining the church. The highest conversion rates are in the South.

The center finds adult converts are more active and knowledgeable about the church than those who have been Catholic since youth.