What Brings Atheists to Church? Their Children, Research Shows

Children are statistically significant factor in church attendance by atheist scientists.

Children are a statistically significant factor when it comes to church attendance among atheist scientists, according to researchers from Rice University and the University at Buffalo.

As Patheos "Science on Religion" blogger Nicholas C. DiDonato notes, atheists may attend religious services for a variety of reasons. However, "the attendance rate of atheists with children jumps 70% compared to those without," he writes.

The data is part of the Religion Among Academic Scientists study, a 2,198-person survey of faculty at 21 American research universities. The survey was released in December 2011.

But the scientists don't cite spirituality as one of their top reasons for attending church services, DiDonato points out. Rather, they may bring their children to church in order to teach values and morals.

CT previously reported data from the same study, noting that 17 percent of atheist scientists with children attended a religious service more than once in the past year.

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