Suicide and depression are becoming increasingly normal in America, and our communities are living with the fallout.
Recent data shows suicide and depression have reached record rates. Such devastation leaves friends, family, and community members feeling helpless and the nation reeling with brokenness.
But there is a growing trend that’s already making a difference.
When you plant something, it’s meant to bloom, thrive, and add beauty to the world. So it is with planting new, life-giving churches among a harsh, increasingly anti-religious landscape in many parts of America.
Church plants are what much of these ugly, broken spaces need—and there is already proof that such churches are producing good fruit. Let’s talk about why, and where, these gutsy little communities can make a real difference.
One thing we know about rates of depression, suicide, addiction, and overdose is that location matters. Spikes in overdose deaths and drug prevalence appear in very specific places—once-booming factory towns, like Portsmouth, Ohio, that lost vitality along with factory shutdowns, job loss, the emergence of pill mills, and the loss of hope.
Suicide numbers are highest in states with fewer people, where people often live spread out, far from one another and without easy access to human contact on a daily basis. In fact, the top three least-densely populated states—Alaska, Montana, and Wyoming—have the highest suicide rates, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
America’s epidemic of despair includes another telltale symptom: a decline in church attendance, civic engagement, and the closing of churches at record rates across the country. Today, at least 100 churches close per week nationwide, and more people across the board identify religiously as “none” more than ever before, according to the Pew Research Center.
Read the full story from The Daily Signal
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