A “secure share” of People has participated in spiritual companies indirectly – just about or in particular person – through the coronavirus pandemic, although in-person attendance is barely decrease than earlier than the COVID-19 outbreak.
These are among the many key findings in a complete report launched Tuesday by the Pew Analysis Heart titled: “How the Pandemic Has Affected Attendance at U.S. Non secular Providers.” The ballot surveyed 11,377 U.S. adults in November final yr. Its margin of error for the total pattern of respondents is plus or minus 1.5 proportion factors.
The ballot discovered that the share of U.S. adults usually attending spiritual companies not less than as soon as a month dropped from 33% in 2019, earlier than the COVID-19 outbreak, to 30% in 2022. About 20% of People say they now attend in particular person much less typically than they did earlier than the pandemic.
However the survey additionally discovered that the proportion of U.S. adults who participate in spiritual companies indirectly every month — in particular person, just about or each — remained regular for the reason that early days of the pandemic.
Researchers based mostly their evaluation on 5 surveys performed for the reason that begin of the pandemic. They present that “a remarkably regular share of People – about 40% – say they’ve participated in spiritual companies within the prior month come what may (both in particular person or just about, i.e., by streaming on-line or watching on TV).”
When requested whether or not they now attend spiritual companies kind of typically than they did earlier than COVID-19, extra People say that their attendance has declined.
In San Francisco, the historic Outdated St. Mary’s Cathedral struggled to remain open through the pandemic. The 160-year-old Catholic church, which is closely depending on older worshippers and vacationers, misplaced most of its income after parishes closed through the pandemic. The ranks of standard parishioners dropped from 300 earlier than COVID-19, to about 200 now, stated the Rev. John Ardis, who needed to dismiss many of the lay employees and shut the parish preschool.
“About 40% of our common parishioners have chosen to not return,” Ardis stated, including that almost all parishioners are aged and people who returned are nonetheless carrying masks at companies. The pandemic “has been an enormous and continuous hit,” he stated.
Thomas Groome, professor of theology and spiritual schooling at Boston School, stated he wasn’t shocked by the survey’s findings.
“There are some indicators that attendance is coming again, nevertheless it’ll in all probability by no means come again to the place it was earlier than the pandemic,” he stated.
“I feel folks discovered learn how to nurture their religious lives and religion with out essentially going to their native church each Sunday,” he added. “I do know a few of them went there just about by Zoom…many learn the scriptures themselves or they bought along with neighbors or they bonded into household teams.”
By November 2022, 20% of respondents stated they had been attending in particular person much less typically, whereas 7% stated they had been entering into particular person extra typically. And 15% stated they had been collaborating in companies just about extra typically, whereas 5% stated they had been watching companies on-line or on TV much less typically.
At the very least 100 parishioners died from COVID-19 on the 17,000-strong Our Woman of Sorrows Catholic church in New York Metropolis’s borough of Queens.
The variety of parishioners who attended its common companies fell, however then rebounded and is now on the identical and even increased than earlier than the pandemic, stated the Rev. Manuel Rodriguez, the pastor of the principally Latino congregation.
“However that’s not the case, sadly, in different church buildings the place attendance is falling,” he stated.
The largest decline in in-person attendance was discovered amongst Black Protestants, in keeping with Pew. As of November, it discovered that 46% of them stated they attended spiritual companies not less than as soon as a month, down from 61% in 2019.
The report centered on main Christian and Jewish denominations. Pew researchers stated the report couldn’t analyze the attendance patterns of Buddhists, Hindus Muslims, and different smaller non-Christian spiritual teams because of pattern measurement limitations.
Related Press faith protection receives help by the AP’s collaboration with The Dialog US, with funding from Lilly Endowment Inc. The AP is solely liable for this content material.