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Shared testimonies, collective singing, silent meditation and baptisms are just a few things that one could find at a Christian church service on a Sunday morning in America. But, overtime we have seen an increase in “atheist churches” such as Sunday Assembly, dubbed as the “first atheist mega-church,” and the Oasis which explicitly celebrates atheists’ identities and beliefs, even though not everyone identifies as an atheist. These secular congregation services, such as Sunday Assembly, include collective singing, reading inspirational texts, silent reflection and collecting donations.

Although Christian churches and secular congregations in America have similarities, there are key differences. For example, Sunday Assembly does not have any hierarchical structure, such as no pastor or minister, meaning that decisions are made by the community. Attendees share duties for running the services and finding speakers and readings. Another key difference between the two is the lack of reference to the supernatural. Lectures and rituals at atheist churches are often centered around affirming atheistic beliefs, celebrating science, cultivating experiences of awe and wonder for nature and creating communities of support.

Today, almost 30 percent of adults in the United States say they have no religious affiliation, with only half attending worship services regularly. As religious affiliation continues to decline, many scholars have argued that there will be a decline in community engagement and other important indicators of well-being such as health, happiness and people’s sense of meaning and purpose.

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