Could the trend of less church attendees spread to Houston?


The Pew Research Center finds Christian Americans are declining, but those without religion are growing.

The research finds the South is starting to be like the rest of the country and church attendance is down.

Congregation Beth Yeshurun Senior Rabbi Brian Strauss said Houston is much more culturally diverse and all places of worship—synagogues, mosques and churches—have their challenges in this day in age. They just need to find ways to attract people.

"When we provide thousands of people things that are innovative at our services, when we are more engaging, when we help develop relationships with people, we get more people to come," said Strauss.

He said their attendance has actually gone up in the last few years.

Strauss said they keep their traditions, yet modernize ways for chances to worship.

"We have to come up with new ways to get people to come, who want to be engaged, want to be included and want to connect with other people and connect with God and connect with their clergy," said Strauss.

The research finds the South is starting to be like the rest of the country and church attendance is down.

Houston Baptist University philosophy and government professor Dr. Shannon Holzer said churches aren't going out of business. It's not about Christians dropping their faith, it's more about population shifts.

"Some churches go down in membership simply because they become large and then they split into two churches," said Holzer.

He added more churches are popping up every day.

Other studies find that the South is becoming “a society with characteristics no longer dominantly rooted in Christianity.”

Holzer said in a multi-cultural place like Houston, not everyone is Christian to begin with.

"Athiests have a higher probability of becoming a Christian, than the Christians losing their faith, in Houston," said Holzer.


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