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As Fewer Americans Attend Church, Can Coffee Shops Fill the Void?

Throughout history, churches and other houses of worship have played critical social and political roles in American society. However, religious services are declining in attendance, and the decline of churches and other houses of worship threatens to create a void that could be filled by coffee shops.

“For a large portion of American history, the church — or their congregations — have been critical, playing an unheralded role in fostering community cohesion and connectedness… encouraging civic engagement and political participation,” says Daniel Cox, director of the Survey Center on American Life and a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.

“The civil rights movement did not emerge from the church by accident or chance,” Cox asserts. “And you see this on a cross-cultural level… Churches have historically been extremely important in predominantly white rural communities, in the suburbs, and everywhere else.”

According to a Gallup poll, the percentage of Americans who say they belong to a church, mosque, or synagogue has been steadily declining since 1999.
According to a Gallup poll, the percentage of Americans who say they belong to a church, mosque, or synagogue has been steadily declining since 1999.
Churches and other houses of worship have also aided immigrants in their assimilation process once they arrive in America, Cox notes.

In 1999, 70% of Americans identified as members of a church, mosque, or synagogue. By 2020, that figure had dropped to 47%. According to a 2019 survey, only about three in ten Americans attend weekly religious services.

Read more • voanews.com

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