The church with no God in America's Bible Belt

For Kris Tyrell, a 28-year-old atheist who was raised as a Catholic in Jamaica but brings up her six-year-old daughter, Kai, outside any faith, the Sunday Assembly provided a welcome opportunity to belong to something without having to believe.

“We came here from South Florida where religion was a ‘thing’, but nothing like it is here. It’s difficult for my daughter in a class full of kids saying ‘I’m thankful for my Jesus’ and she wants to know why we are different. So this is something for us,” she says.

While the Nashville congregation is mostly atheist – several joke about being “recovering Fundamentalists” – it is also careful not to be aggressively so.

Adam Newton, a 38-year-old musician who marriage broke up when he lost his faith, describes the group as “radically inclusive” – positively embracing a life without God, not looking to run down the faithful.

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