Will Higgins's report on attendance levels at Holy Week services at a military base in northern Iraq is intriguing on several levels. First, although there are some 4,000 soldiers stationed at the base, the chaplains deemed 150 chairs and 3 Easter services more than sufficient to accommodate the number of soldiers inclined to attend. A Good Friday screening of Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ drew only four soldiers, two of whom snoozed their way through it.
While such anecdotal evidence from a solitary military base is by no means enough to establish statistical significance, it does at the very least challenge conventional wisdom that there are no atheists in foxholes. Looking around for other media coverage of Easter services among American military in Iraq, I found little of interest save a small collection of photos that revealed services most notable for their sparse attendance (Be sure to click on the third photo to see if you can identify the gun at the foot of the praying ...1