What I suspect is that most people who are unemployed are in front of the TV on Sunay mornings.
~ Robert Putnam, political scientist, author
There is a correlation, church attendance goes up in an economic down turn. The people who go to church already simply increase their regular attendance. Wealthy and educated people are statistically more likely to attend church/synagogue/etc than poorer and uneducated.What I think is that where communities are stable or growing, churches can thrive. Where poverty reigns and people have to work three jobs or there are no jobs and blight sets in, churches see a drop in attendance. Church institutions are often a sign of community wealth and stability. Willow Creek, one of America's great mega-churches is in one of the most affluent areas of the country. Also, with the general decline in church going in general, the so-called natural inclination of some to return to church in hard times will simply be statistically less likely. This is why, of course, that even in some stable areas, churches are closing. I would love to see the statistical data about stable communities and unstable communities. My suspicion is that we'd see a very different relationship to congregations...and a difference in the kind of congregations present.