A few centuries ago four New England states — Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont — were leading a religious revival. Nowadays, however, they are at the opposite end as far as U.S. church attendance is concerned, shows a late Gallup survey. As indicated by the overview, religious participation in congregations today goes from 22 percent in the Bay State down to 17 percent in the Green Mountain State. Connecticut positioned on ninth place at 25 percent. First ranked was Utah with 51% church attendance. The state has been leading the top for several years now
Frank Newport editor-in-chief at Gallup believes that the reasons behind the lack of church-goers in New England are varied. He noted:
“There is no definitive answer as to why residents in a state like Mississippi are so likely to be in church on Sundays, while residents in a state like Vermont are so unlikely,” he wrote. “Some of the differences reflect the types of people who choose to live in these states, and some reflect the types of religion that are predominant in a given state.”
Mississippi inhabitants are next in the top, alongside Alabama, Louisiana and Arkansas, with 45 percent to 47 percent saying they attend religious services in church, as per the survey.
Newport noted it is quite clear why Utah is the first on the rundown. According to him Utah ranking at the top is the direct outcome of the state’s 59 percent Mormon residents. Mormons are known to have the highest worship service participation of all the major religious congregations in the U.S.
Last October, The Atlantic highlighted an alternate variable that is liable to keep individuals going to church, namely family ties. The magazine wrote that throughout decades, research has found various factors to religiosity, a significant number of them obvious — like going to religious services as a kid. Another factor is the family with studies showing that children with wedded parents that also have the same religious beliefs are likely to retain the religion they grew up with. The magazine also reported that school graduates conceived in the 1970s are more likely than non-graduates of the same age to relate to a specific religious belief.
Constant church participation might truly be a lifesaver, as the Deseret News reported a study by the Utah Department of Health, uncovering that family and religious inclusion are key elements in preventing suicide. Accordingly, young people who reported going to worship services on a weekly basis were half as likely to have considered suicide than the individuals who did not go to church regularly.
Image Source: The Blaze