9/11 -- St. Petersburg Times Special Report

Sunday, Sept. 1
  • Florida: Terror's launching pad
  • The 19 plotters and their day of terror
  • Remembering

    Monday, Sept. 2
  • When tragedy meets capitalism
  • '9/11 fatigue' is natural, mental health experts say

    Tuesday, Sept. 3
  • Coping as a kid
  • Eric Deggans: 9/11 documentary asks troubling questions about religion
  • Sept. 11 photograph exhibit opens

    Wednesday, Sept. 4
  • Millions in new funding don't guarantee security
  • Donations to local charities slow in months after attacks
  • Sept. 11 donations swamp charities
  • Bush to visit three attack sites on 9/11

    Thursday, Sept. 5
  • Attack anniversary is living history lesson
  • Trading fallback system improved
  • Future of site still beset by debate

    Friday, Sept. 6
  • Senate approves plan to allow armed pilots
  • Dream job becoming demoralizing
  • New plane doors would withstand gunfire
  • What ever happened to ... Those patriotic paint jobs?
  • The other 911
  • Consolidated for the cause

    Saturday, Sept. 7
  • In chaos, TIA tower controlled 9/11 skies
  • Congress, N.Y. reaffirm solidarity
  • Traveling can be nicer in rougher countries
  • For TIA workers, 'normal' not what it used to be
  • Airlines don't see relief over horizon
  • Terror only one blow to tourism
  • A year later, it's the home fires that burn brightly
  • Flying the flag

    Sunday, Sept. 8
  • 125 Cedar Street
  • The drama in Sarasota
  • Cautious, yes, but still traveling
  • As security increases, fervor fades
  • Rising risks
  • Finding lessons in rubble of tragedy
  • Public loss, private grief
  • Duty calls; he goes; they wait
  • Riled residents show true colors
  • Keeping her distance
  • Which way leads up?
  • For the record
  • 45 Questions
  • A lexicon of terror, post-9/11
  • Before attacks, this was the news
  • Other events on Sept. 11
  • Voice mail delivers, retains final words
  • Keeping us rolling
  • 9.11
  • How we'll view it

    Monday, Sept. 9
  • The residue of terror
  • Patriotism is more than emotion
  • What ever happened to . . .: Our religious fervor?
  • The nightmares return
  • Life has the right-of-way
  • Free to disagree
  • 'Time has not healed the pain'
  • Deputies to step up patrol for anniversary
  • Security upgrade since 9/11 slow, steady
  • Enthusiasm for PHCC's security classes dissipates
  • Teachers untangle Sept. 11 lessons
  • A bumpy year for business
  • The man who would have led Afghanistan
  • People who made the headlines

    Tuesday, Sept. 10
  • Multitude to gather to wave U.S. flags
  • Pictures evoke profound feelings
  • Attacks haven't boosted sales of cell phones
  • Schools discover ways to reflect on attacks
  • Flags still wave, but sales fall from peak
  • Three fathers lost
  • Telemarketers easing up on 9/11
  • Nuclear plant adds security layers to prevent terrorism
  • Cough, stress hinder emergency workers
  • Families of missing sit in limbo
  • Places of importance after the attacks

    Wednesday, Sept. 11
  • Remembrance and renewal
  • Flags Along the Bayshore: Tampa Remembers 9/11
  • Ways of remembering
  • A piece of paper . a blue and white truck
  • Is America ready for another attack?
  • Nation to honor victims in silence
  • Poll: Compassion remains
  • The war so far
  • Terror update
  • Attack on Iraq would test headquarters at MacDill
  • 09-11-01 Perspectives
  • Those who died in the attacks
  • Myriad rescue agencies trust their link won't fail
  • Photo gallery
  • (This Flash gallery requires the free Flash Player 5+.)

    Thursday, Sept. 12
  • Emotional service honors those who died selflessly
  • Elements of pride
  • Echo of 9/11 empties airport
  • A day full of tributes, flags and questions
  • Prayer, fellowship pull many through agonizing anniversary
  • Tributes great and small
  • Children in a changed world pause to reflect
  • Citrus recalls 9/11 with its heart
  • Marking the imponderable
  • Ministers assure that God was there that sorrowful day
  • Chime recalls a nation's losses
  • For law officers, day passes quietly
  • Residents gather to heal, remember
  • In big and small ways, our community pays tribute
  • Cities somberly mark Sept. 11
  • Patriotic display greets drivers
  • Day of grief, resolve
  • At county schools, remembrance resounds
  • Travel lags on attacks' anniversary
  • They were us
  • Americans worldwide cautious on anniversary
  • Radical Muslims discuss 'positive outcomes' of Sept. 11
  • Amid grief, Bush gives warning

  • printer version

    What ever happened to . . .: Our religious fervor?

    By SHARON TUBBS, Times Staff Writer
    © St. Petersburg Times
    published September 9, 2002

    In the weeks after the terrorist attacks, Americans packed churches, synagogues and mosques. Some wanted to find answers for evil. Others sought solace among family and friends. But experts say attendance quickly dwindled; pews thinned within two months.

    For the most part today, it's worship as usual.

    The increase "did not hold true," said Robert Wuthnow, director of the Center for the Study of Religion at Princeton University. "It lasted for a few weeks and that was it."

    Church attendance increased by about 25 percent nationwide after the attacks, according to Barna Research Group, a California company that tracks social, religious and political trends.

    But two months later, attendance was back to normal levels. About 48 percent of 1,010 adults interviewed in a random Barna sample last November said they had attended a church service in the past week. That was only 6 percent more than the results from a summer 2001 study that Barna had conducted.

    At First Baptist Church of Indian Rocks in Largo, worshipers packed the sanctuary last September.

    "Definitely for those first two to three weeks, maybe even a month, attendance was higher," said senior associate pastor David Joseph. About 200 more people came to weekend services. Many wanted to be comforted, Joseph said.

    "Once they get past that despair, that first shock," he said, they stop coming with regularity. Weekend church attendance fell back to a total of 3,200.

    The Rev. Ken Shick at Hyde Park Presbyterian Church in Tampa saw fresh faces, too, but only for a few weeks. Shick said the attacks affected those who were already church members, perhaps more so than the newcomers. Members who came to weekly Bible studies sporadically before the attacks now come consistently, he said.

    "The tragedy underscored the value of faith and family and country," Shick said.

    Scholars say the shift follows historical trends, which show church attendance increasing after war and other national tragedies.

    George Barna, the research company's president, said in a November study that religious leaders missed an opportunity to reach unbelievers.

    "After the attack, millions of nominally churched or generally irreligious Americans were desperately seeking something that would restore stability and a sense of meaning to life," he said. "Unfortunately, few of them experienced anything that was sufficiently life-changing to capture their attention and their allegiance."

    Some local congregations say they are bucking the national trend.

    The Rev. Joyce Stone said increased attendance at Christ the Cornerstone in St. Petersburg has held steady. Her small congregation has doubled to about 50 people, she said.

    Mohammad Sultan, director of the Islamic Society of Tampa Bay Area, said about 1,000 Muslims came to the Tampa mosque for Friday worship before the attacks. Today, about 1,500 attend.

    The attacks drew Muslims who wanted to renew their commitments to God, he said. Also, misunderstandings about the Islamic faith and hate crimes against Muslims might have had an impact on attendance, he said. "It could be people unhappy with the misrepresentations," Sultan said.


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    Related coverage
  • The residue of terror
  • Patriotism is more than emotion
  • What ever happened to . . .: Our religious fervor?
  • The nightmares return
  • Life has the right-of-way
  • Free to disagree
  • 'Time has not healed the pain'
  • Deputies to step up patrol for anniversary
  • Security upgrade since 9/11 slow, steady
  • Enthusiasm for PHCC's security classes dissipates
  • Teachers untangle Sept. 11 lessons
  • A bumpy year for business
  • The man who would have led Afghanistan
  • People who made the headlines