RELIGION
10/03/2011 03:49 pm ET | Updated Dec 03, 2011

Retail's Afterlife: The Mall-ification Of The American Church

As malls across the country empty out, it's no wonder their remains are being scavenged. According to the International Council of Shopping Centers, a third of America's indoor malls are currently in "financial distress." Retailers are leaving indoor and strip malls for popular outdoor "lifestyle centers," those cutesy, mixed-use developments that resemble the Main Streets their predecessors helped destroy.

Meanwhile, it is no news that Protestant churches in the American suburbs are growing and franchising. The Hartford Institute for Religious Research defines a megachurch as a Protestant congregation with more than 2,000 members, and estimates that their numbers have grown from 350 to more than 1,200 since since 1993.

Most of the churches DailyFinance identified that reside in malls or former malls fit the Institute's description.

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