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A new gallop poll says church attendance crept up slightly in the United States this year, but one religion expert says people are lying to make themselves look good to pollsters.

Slightly more than 43 percent of Americans told Gallup they attend church, synagogue or mosque weekly or almost every week, up from just under 43 percent in 2009, and about 42 percent in 2008.

The results are within the poll’s margin of error, but still “statistically significant,” Gallup said in announcing the results Monday.

“Those numbers are just wrong,” Trinity College Professor Mark Silk said.

He puts the percentage of Americans who actually attend weekly services somewhere in the mid-20s, pointing out that people tend to exaggerate when pollsters ask if they do something regarded as “good.”

What’s happening at your church? Is attendance up or down?

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