N.Y. not more spiritual because of 9/11
Adelle M. Banks, Religion News Service
September 01, 2011

N.Y. not more spiritual because of 9/11

N.Y. not more spiritual because of 9/11
Adelle M. Banks, Religion News Service
September 01, 2011

New York-area residents are more spiritually active since 9/11,

a new survey shows, but the uptick in faith may be a matter of coincidence

rather than a religious response to the terrorist attacks.

The Barna Group found that 46 percent of people living in or

near New York City reported attending worship services in the previous week in

2010, up from 31 percent in 2000. However, the upward trend didn’t kick in

until after 2004, said David Kinnaman, Barna’s president.

“The research suggests that faith and religion took on new

urgency for many New Yorkers after 9/11, but the impact was neither immediate nor

long-lived,” said Kinnaman. “While … religion’s importance did grow in the

years after 9/11, church attendance and active faith

measures did not really start increasing until after 2004.”

Researchers found that more New Yorkers are spending time

reading the Bible on their own, up from 29 percent in 1997-98 to 35 percent in 2009-10.

Nationwide, personal Bible reading has remained essentially unchanged in the

last decade.

The latest figures also show that 61 percent of New

York-area residents agree strongly that religious faith is very important in

their lives, compared to 72 percent of U.S. adults.

Kinnaman said there could be numerous reasons for the

changes in religious activity, including the 9/11 attacks, the weakening

economy and an influx of immigrants who are more religiously observant.

“Whatever the combination of causes, the residents of the

New York City region are more spiritually active, more likely to be ‘churched,’

and more committed to Christ than they were a decade ago,” he said.

The findings are based on 3,406 interviews conducted in the

New York City media market between 1997 and 2010.

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