Monday, March 9, 2009

LA Daily News on the Business Cycle and Religiosity

The LA Daily News has an interesting article on the "spiritual tidal wave" being created by this recession. It is a nice complement to the earlier New York Times article on this topic and makes an even stronger case for the link between the business cycle and religiosity.
In Time of Economic Hardship, Houses of Worship Experience 'Spiritual Tidal Wave'

Throughout Los Angeles County and the nation, ministers and rabbis say they've seen dramatic increases in attendance in recent months as people worried about the worsening economy and turmoil in the world turn to religion.

Some houses of worship are using overflow rooms, hosting presentations to help people with their finances and giving sermons on the economic downturn, world events and Bible prophecy.

"There is a spiritual hunger and openness for God that I have not seen since 9-11," said Kirby, who estimates that his congregation has swelled from 550 to 750 worshippers in just the last four months.

"But this is a bigger and more sustained wave. The increase in church attendance after 9-11 only lasted a short time. But we have seen this now for four months and it's pretty much every Sunday. It's a spiritual tidal wave that is sustaining."

As attendance at churches in South America, Africa, China, Russia and other parts of the world is "exploding in growth," Jim Tolle, pastor of 25,000-member The Church On The Way in Van Nuys, said "pockets of revival or awakening" are also occurring in the United States.


In America, we used to feel like we were safe and secure as a nation," Durham said. "I think 9-11 took away safe and the recession has taken away secure. And so ... people are looking to faith and looking to God for reassurance and security."


At Shepherd of the Hills church in Porter Ranch, Senior Pastor Dudley C. Rutherford said he spent the fall preaching about Bible prophecy and has seen attendance grow from an average of 8,030 last year to 9,673 this year, a 17 percent increase. Rutherford attributes the increase to concerns about the economy and curiosity about world events...

1 comment:

  1. The psychological and spiritual impact of the economic downturn will be the topic of News Talk Online on Thursday March 12 at 5 PM New York time. My guests will be NY Mt. Sinai psychiatrist Dr. Elliot Wineburg and Marble Collegiate Church NY senior minister Michael Brown.

    Please go to my blog to talk to them.