A new survey by LifeWay Research showed that nine in ten Protestant pastors said their churches will hold services on Christmas Day and New Year's day, even when both of these days fall on a Sunday.

A random telephonic survey was conducted on 1,000 senior Protestant pastors between August 22 and September 16, and the responses were weighted by region to more accurately represent the population.

As many as 89 percent of the churches will open on Christmas Day and 85 percent on New Year's Day.

Over 70 percent of the pastors said they will hold Christmas Eve services, and 25 percent are also open on New Year's Eve.

Some 63 percent of the churches will hold services both on Christmas Eve and on Christmas Day.

Only 20 percent of the churches are open on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day as well.

There are some churches who are only open on Christmas Eve, and will conduct more services on the eve to make up for the holiday on Christmas Day.

"We plan to have five Christmas Eve worship services on December 24," said Crystal Kirkman, the communications director at First Christian Church in Decatur, Ill.

Slight differences in church attendance were found among various denominations.

Lutherans (94 percent) were most likely to celebrate Christmas Day on Sunday, followed by Church of Christ (93 percent), and Holiness (92 percent). About 91 percent of Baptist and Presbyterian/Reformed churches are also open on Sunday. Only 71 percent of the Pentecostals will celebrate this Christmas Sunday with a service.

Small churches and large churches were somewhat less likely to conduct Christmas Day services, as compared to congregation sizes that fall in the middle. Only 84 percent of the churches with fewer than 50 members and 85 percent of those with over 250 members will open for Christmas Day service. As many as 92 percent of the mid-size churches with some 100 to 249 attendees will conduct Christmas Day services on Sunday.