One of the curious things about living in US is the pervasiveness of Indian churches. This would seem kind of strange since the NRI is by definition well heeled and can thus withstand the vagaries of life without divine intervention. Or is S/he?. My colleague Cao likes to point out that the vast majority of believers fall in either of the two camps - those who have everything to gain and those who have everything to lose. Thus while the poor pray to God for subsistence, the rich pray as an insurance against evil tidings.
What are the other factors driving the mushrooming of Indian churches?. The NRI church in the US is not just a religious institution - it has also become a venue of social and cultural interaction. The NRI kids go to Sunday school to imbibe the "Indian culture" as an armor against the US way of life. This phenomenon is not just restricted to children. Long after the Sunday service is over, you can find people milling about exchanging pleasantries or planning the next prayer meeting or picnic.
The American green card system is another factor. This allows for people who have never been outside their mofussil towns in their entire lives to be suddenly transplanted to an alien land. The church is often their sole beacon to find their bearings.
One cannot be too critical though. The democratization of the church ensures that the high and mighty alone cannot rule the roost. We thus see people trying to make sense of the archaic liturgy and the traditions (hmm what does "Amen" mean?). There is more of a sense of community with people helping out and volunteering.
The downside is that one is accosted with ever increasing demands to build the latest and greatest church, parsonage or parking lots. I know of several friends who are afraid to go to church for this reason. There is also a subtle pressure for one to be more religious and demonstrate one's piety by attending prayer meetings, youth and family conferences. When I visit India, I get the feeling that things are much more easy going back at home. Maybe this is a side effect of trying to fight the Other - your walls become so impenetrable that you slowly die out for want of fresh air.