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Americans find sense of belonging in megachurches

Published: Monday, Aug. 20 2012 6:00 p.m. MDT

Our take: According to a new study by LiveScience, megachurches are becoming more popular, despite recent polls that say religiosity in America is declining and atheism is on the rise.

More and more Americans are spending their Sundays at megachurches, enormous churches with congregations numbering in the thousands. Despite the size of these churches, members don't get lost in the crowd, new research finds.

In fact, a new study of 12 representative megachurches spread across the country finds that the size of these churches is a major part of their appeal. Members report that the experience of worshiping with thousands is intoxicating, the researchers find. 

"It's an addicting experience, it's so large, it's so huge," said study researcher Katie Corcoran, a graduate student in sociology at the University of Washington. "One respondent said you can look up to the balcony and see the Holy Spirit go over the crowd like a wave in a football game."

Read more about the appeal of megachurches on The Huffington Post.

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