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Most ‘regular attenders’ at worship services say they feel God’s presence: study

Fewer Americans attend religious services regularly these days, and now a study sheds light on why the faithful who do so continue to go to a church, synagogue, mosque or temple.

The Pew Research Center, which studies religious trends, found that, of the U.S. adults who say they attend services at least one or two times a month, roughly 80 percent say they do so to become “closer to God.”

About two-thirds of that group also say “they attend religious services to give their children a moral foundation, to become better people, and for comfort in times of trouble or sorrow.”

About 80 percent of “regular attenders” report feeling “a sense of God’s presence when they attend worship services” all of the time or “often,” according to Pew.

For Protestant Christians who regularly go to church, sermons are a major reason why they keep “coming back.” Sermons are much less of a factor with Catholic Christians.

The Religion Roundup is also featured on WBBM Newsradio (780 AM and 105.9 FM) on Sundays at 6:22 a.m., 9:22 a.m. and 9:22 p.m. For more religion coverage, check out suntimes.com. Email tips and comments to Robert Herguth at rherguth@suntimes.com.