The classical model of the role of religion in the lives of immigrants to the United States, formulated in the writings of Will Herberg and Oscar Handlin, emphasized cultural continuity and the psychological benefits of religious faith following the trauma of immigration. Although this perspective captures an important reason for the centrality of religion in most immigrant communities (but not for all immigrants), the classical model does not address the equally important socioeconomic role of churches, synagogues, temples, and mosques in American society. The creation of an immigrant church or temple often provided ethnic communities with refuge from the hostility and discrimination from the broader society as well as opportunities for economic mobility and social recognition. In turn, the successive waves of immigrants have probably shaped the character as well as the content of American religious institutions.