More than half of U.S. adults say they’ve prayed for an end to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new poll that also shows most churchgoers have watched religious services online.
The Pew Research Center survey shows that 55 percent of Americans “have prayed for an end to the spread of coronavirus.” This includes 82 percent of evangelicals, 65 percent of mainline churchgoers and 68 percent of Catholics who have prayed for an end to the pandemic.
“The coronavirus outbreak is having profound impacts on the personal lives of Americans in a variety of ways,” Pew said in its analysis.
Meanwhile, Americans are attending church in-person less due to the coronavirus. Fifty-nine percent of U.S. adults who attend church at least once or twice a month say they’ve attended church “in person less often” due to the coronavirus outbreak, while 57 percent have watched religious services online or on television instead of attending in person.
Among different groups, 65 percent of evangelicals, 54 percent of mainline churchgoers and 46 percent of Catholics have watched services online or on TV instead of attending in-person.
Among all churchgoers, online services and TV services are just as popular among those 65 and over (60 percent) as they are with those ages 18-29 (58 percent).
The pandemic also has changed Americans’ views of gatherings – both large and small.
- 91 percent of Americans say they would feel uncomfortable attending a crowded party.
- 77 percent would feel uncomfortable eating out in a restaurant.
- 66 percent would feel uncomfortable going to a polling place to vote.
- 42 percent would feel uncomfortable going to a grocery store.
- 38 percent would feel uncomfortable visiting with a close friend or family member at their home.
Forty-four percent of Americans say the outbreak has changed their life in a “major way,” while 44 percent say their life has changed “but only a little bit.” Only 12 percent of Americans say their life is “about the same.”
The survey was conducted between March 19-24.
Photo courtesy: Jack Sharp/Unsplash
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.