Religious fundamentalism is often publicized as a looming danger to America. However, the U.S. has its own share of it: Mormonism, a Christian sect that considers their leader a prophet in the direct line of Jesus.
This home grown religion is very strict on extramarital sex, the use of alcohol and cigarettes and even prohibits coffee. Men rule, women obey. Yet, the Mormons dominate an entire state. Almost every elected politician in Utah is a Church member. Mormon leaders run businesses. The Church of the Latter-day Saints (LDS), as the Mormon faith is officially called, is now the fastest growing religion in the world. It is tremendously wealthy - believers give ten percent or more of their annual income to LDS. Almost every evening is occupied with religious activities for LDS members. The communities are divided into small church sections. Within these tight-knit congregations, everyone knows one another, finds their spouse and seeks advice in personal and professional matters. At the age of 19, Mormon boys are sent to the missionary training center in Provo, where they learn a foreign language as well as the tricks of proselytizing. After completing the course, they leave for a two-year mission. Once, the rapid growth rate in Mormon towns was related to polygamy. Although the church outlawed the practice a hundred years ago, today there are about 60,000 Mormons in Utah still living in polygamous relationships.
Full text by Peter Hossli (German) : Die Macht der Mormonen