At the time the church was the only way a peasant kid could escape having to spend the rest of his life as a virtual slave. It was quite common for young men who had no religious feelings at all to try this avenue to escape. The fact that you don't know this shows your ignorance of history.
Clashes in Nabi Saleh leave soldier, officer and Palestinian lightly wounded (Haaretz)
from the article: Ukraine to ask Israel: Recognize 1930s famine as state genocide