Jobless Cling to Their Faith in Detroit
Religions offer comfort as jobless face pain, hunger
By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff
Posted May 31, 2009 6:10 PM CDT
At the Greater Grace Temple, a Pentecostal church in Detroit, Bishop Charles Ellis III held a special 'Prayer and Consecration Service' to bring hope and encouragement to auto workers.   (AP Photo/The Detroit News, Charles V. Tines)
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(Newser) – Thousands of Detroit's jobless are coping with fear and desperation by falling back on faith, the Detroit Free Press reports. Houses of worship are increasingly fielding calls from people seeking jobs, food, and housing—but above all, congregants say, they find comfort. "When the tension comes and the pressure comes, I just ask God for relief," said one laid-off auto worker.

Churches, mosques, and synagogues are also hurting as unemployed worshipers fail to tithe and donate; the Archdiocese of Detroit has seen coffers lighten by 5% to 10%. But some churches are adapting to the times: One opened a "prayer station" across from a GM Tech Center; another staged an auto bailout rally with shining SUVs at the altar. "The less you have, and the less secure that you are ... the more that you have to draw upon faith," said one GM engineer.