I have been told that one reason for this is the lack of pubs and pub culture - no seriously!
I was told this by an American chap I met who was, um, pastor I suppose of a non-religious church in California. It was a place where like-minded people could gather and do - well - I don't know what really. He led them in this activity. He, quite seriously, reckoned that churchgoing was used in the same way as Brits might go to the local pub - presumably without the booze.