There was not a place to park in sight. Rockford residents filled churches to worship on Easter Sunday. Erv Zuehlke was one of them. He believes religion is on the decline in the Stateline. "Our environment, less and less people go to church, less and less people pay any respect for religion." Says Zuehlke of Beloit Wisconsin.
A recent Gallup Survey found that only thirty percent of Rockford residents consider themselves religious. Nearly twenty nine percent consider themselves moderately religious. Finally, a whopping thirty five percent say they are not religious at all. Sue Cram of Rockford says "it's sad to say that if the statistics say thirty five percent of people are not religious, you know maybe their beliefs have wandered or maybe they need to come back."
Cram is an usher at the United Methodist Church in Rockford. She says she has seen a decrease in attendance. She thinks it's due to people getting into routines such as family and jobs, which make them, ignore religion. She says the church is working to hold more events such as their annual Thanksgiving dinner to bring people back into the church.
John Kerney was raised in a Catholic neighborhood. As he matured, he noticed many of his friends getting away from their religious roots. He does not see many of them returning. "America seems to be less religious when everything is going smooth." Says Kerney who attended Easter Mass Sunday morning.
Religious people say it is a shame more people do not attend church. They believe churches help build better communities. Zuehlke says "every week they should go to church and behave themselves as good neighbors and good friends and help their fellow people."
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