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Posted on Fri, Jul 2, 2010 : 5:59 a.m.

American worship attendance creeps up in 2010, according to Gallup poll

By Pam Stout


Choir members walk down the center aisle as service begins at St Andrew's Episcopal church, 306 N. Division St., on a Sunday morning.

Melanie Maxwell |

According to a recent Gallup poll, the percentage of Americans who self-reported attending a church, synagogue or mosque service weekly or almost weekly was 43.1 percent. This is a slight increase from 42.8 percent in 2009 and 42.1 percent in 2008.

The small increase over the last 2.5 years is statistically significant, reports Gallup, "suggesting that there has in fact been an uptick in religious service participation." The article also notes that economic confidence has increased over this time period, countering the idea that increased church attendance is a reaction to poor economic times.

CNN's Belief blog reported that Trinity College Professor Mark Silk "dismissed the numbers out of hand," suggesting that people tend to exaggerate self-reporting of behaviors commonly regarded as "good." Silk estimates the percentage of Americans who actually attend weekly services "somewhere in the mid-20s," according to CNN.

In the CNN story, Silk did note that a completely unrelated study found that Americans say they are spending more time on "spiritual and religious activities." A Department of Labor survey of how Americans spend their time indicated an increase in minutes spent on spiritual activities each day.

Read full details about the poll on Pam Stout coordinates Faith and Home & Garden coverage for She can be reached at



Tue, Jul 6, 2010 : 8:56 a.m.

If the clergy can do a good enough job of getting people to come to church we'll be back in the Dark Ages in no time!