Is American Christianity Witnessing a Revival?

If there's one thing pastors constantly pray for, it's a revival. Well, according to a new study by the Pew Research Center, published Tuesday, their prayers are being answered — right now.

More than a quarter of Americans (27 percent) say they currently attend services at least once or twice a month, but did not do so earlier in their adult lives. More Christians are among this group than non-Christians. Even better, about half of these people say the main reason they attend church more frequently is due to changes in their religious beliefs — they are growing closer to God.

Different denominations are growing at different rates, but 65 percent of Christians overall attend services at least once or twice a month. Evangelicals enjoy the highest church attendance rate, at 75 percent, while historically black Protestants also have a high rate (68 percent). Even over half of mainline Protestants attend regularly (53 percent), as do 60 percent of Catholics.

A full 44 percent of evangelical Protestants in the survey said they attend more frequently than in the past, as do 33 percent of members of historically black churches, 31 percent of mainline Protestants, and 28 percent of Catholics. Among non-Christians, only 36 percent attend services regularly, and only 18 percent said they attend more frequently now than in the past.

But the reasons why these Americans are attending church more frequently are even more heartening.