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A fifth of Europeans questioned in an international survey say the September 11 attacks in the United States brought them "closer to religion," while almost half now claim to have "changed priorities."

Three-quarters of Europeans surveyed said their family was now "most important" to them, with 47 percent saying that they expected to be more "family-focused" in future.

The survey, conducted by Euro RSCG Worldwide, an international advertising agency network based in New York, also found that 35 percent of Italians and 16 percent of Dutch people planned to "focus more on religion" over Christmas.

The survey was conducted as part of Euro RSCG's efforts to track consumer shifts and trends in the wake of the September 11 attacks. It was conducted in early November on a representative sample of over 1,300 people in Britain, France, Italy, Germany, and the Netherlands.

In an earlier U.S. survey, 63 percent of Americans surveyed said they would also be "more family focused," while 18 percent planned to spend more time at home.

Keith Jenkins, the Brussels-based director of the Church and Society Commission of the Conference of European Churches (CEC), told ENI that the European survey seemed to confirm a "heightened awareness of religion" since the atrocities that took place in the United States, as well as a "growing recognition of the need for interfaith dialogue."

"In the immediate aftermath of September 11, there was certainly a widespread desire to meet and pray, as well as an expectation that the churches would provide a forum for this," Jenkins told ENI.

"Whether evidence from a one-off survey reflects a long-term trend can only be seen in the light of experience. But there are moments when something is expected from the churches ...

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