US construction of houses of worship has declined sharply in last 20 years

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by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent

(Worthy News) – Although US spending on construction has increased steadily to a near-record annualized rate of $1.55 trillion this year, the construction of houses of worship such as churches, mosques, synagogues, and temples has decreased sharply over the last 20 years, Axios reports.

Spending on constructing houses of worship reached a record low annualized rate of $3 billion in June 2021: this figure is 66% less than the $8.8 billion record high of August 2003, Axios reports.

However, the amount spent on building entertainment facilities increased by 42% from $7.7 billion in August 2003 to $10.9 billion as of June 2021, Axios said. Spending on construction for educational, office and sewage facilities has also increased significantly.

Axios notes that a Gallup poll taken in 2020 showed that only 47% of American adults said they were a member of a house of worship. “This was the first time ever this group wasn’t the majority,” Axios said.

Nevertheless, Rev. David Schoen of the United Church of Christ Church Building & Loan Fund told Axios that worshippers are meeting in schools and warehouses as well as engaging much more online. “There’s a number of churches on the market that can be bought,” Schoen added. “So there’s not a whole lot of new construction.”

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