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I will answer with a quote from Wikipedia concerning one of the early founders of the shaker movement and what the shakers believed. I will add to this quote that all sects, religious groups, denominations or people developing their own community of shared beliefs all develop histories of growth and change or decline because of foundational issues and how or whether they strictly practice what they believe during times of other historical changes. The history of the shakers is one of phenomenal growth due to fervent faith for as long as fresh new converts could be found who practiced their belief in celibacy. When the tide of public opinion changed and average citizens did not want to practice strict celibacy any more, it became nearly impossible to find new converts, and children were not being born into the congregation either. This is why nobody I know has a shaker great grandmother in their family tree. The shaker great grandmother would not have practiced strict lifelong celibacy. Where would the new shakers come from? Do you want to be a shaker who practices strict lifelong celibacy? So here is the quote that I got from Wikipedia about one of the founders.

Mother Ann LeeAnn Lee joined the Shakers by 1758 and then became the leader of the small community. "Mother Ann," as her followers later called her, claimed numerous revelations regarding the fall of Adam and Eve and its relationship to sexual intercourse. A powerful preacher, she called her followers to confess their sins, give up all their worldly goods, and take up the cross of celibacy and forsake marriage, as part of the renunciation of all "lustful gratifications"
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Q: Why has the shaker congregation declined?
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