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After Americans endured two decades of continuous depression war and crisis through the 1930s and 40s they sought a return to normalcy and longed to focus on the more private details of existence Instead of national objectives the public concentrated on family home and career while becoming increasingly absorbed in religion As the 1950s saw America in a state of national exhaustion religion-in-general experienced a surge in popularity Many critical views were silenced or ignored as people became more accepting of a wide variety of beliefs While the revival was unexpected and unstructured several events fueled the movement World War II left the country weary and drained During the four seemingly-endless years of conflict almost all churches had rallied behind the war effort Post-war America a burst in prosperity and with this support churches expanded Church attendance soared while their purpose and goals shifted As all denominations gained a more powerful voice they used it to increase their role in society In 1950 several of the oldest Protestant denominations formed the National Council of Churches in order to improve relations with the government encourage interchurch connections and promote projects such as Bible translation1 This organization also helped to do away with the harsh attitudes and antagonism aimed at Catholicism after the war Toleration and acceptance seemed to be the key to deepened communication between both church and state as well and Protestants and Catholics Following World War II an era known as the Cold War shook American faith in the possibility of a peaceful nation A war with the Soviet Union looming overhead the threat of a communist takeover and the potential for nuclear disaster sent Americans rushing to churches in part to find a sense of stability and security Survey data shows that Church attendance reached an all-time high 49 of the American population in the mid-1950s2 while nearly 96 claimed ties to some religious affiliation or another3 Religion helped them cope with the
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