This week our articles examined how congregations function as a source of community for their members. The article our group analyzed, titled “Reproducing Ethnicity,” specifically looked at how immigrants use religious congregations as a way to connect them to their home cultures while simultaneously helping them to adjust to their new culture. Because religion and culture are so closely entwined in many parts of the world, it is virtually impossible to separate one from the other. Being able to take part in the religion of one’s homeland even from far away is one way that immigrants are able to reproduce their heritage and pass on traditions to their children. By creating spaces where people can gather to celebrate their native languages, foods, and holidays, those cultural ties can be perpetuated.
While on one hand I can understand how church attendance is declining and why people are moving out of more organized places of worship, I also don’t think that they will ever completely disappear. I think the desire to believe, or to at least entertain the thought that there is something “greater” than us is something that is something that could be considered innate. Since the dawn of humankind people have practiced religion. Because we wield a complex consciousness that allows us to look critically at our place in the world and encourages us to ask questions about our purpose and the reason for our existence, I think religion will always be a part of the human experience and religious congregations will always provide a space for people to seek those answers together.