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Discussing religion, spirituality and values. Amy Umble is the religion reporter for The Free Lance-Star. You can email her at
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Recession and the Pews

By the end of last year, news reports showed an increase in church attendance. Reporters suggested the recession led more people to faith. But newly released studies refute those reports. Earlier this month, the Pew Forum analyzed polls showing no increase in weekly attendance since October 2007, when the economy began slipping. Other studies concur. So what impact does the economy have on faith? Some economists suggest recessions do affect membership–driving people from mainline denominations toward evangelical churches. That could be an interesting trend in a time when religion surveys are already seeing that shift occur.