Washington—Today marks the second Easter celebration in the COVID-19 era. Except for vaccinations and optimism, most churches have not returned to normal.
In the past year, the pandemic has changed the way Americans worship, and other data shows that religious sects themselves are undergoing rapid changes. Therefore, in this sacred day of Christians, “Data Download” focuses on the church beliefs and beliefs in the United States.
Starting from the worship directly related to today, how does the bench look like this Sunday compared to normal Easter? According to data from the Pew Research Center, they will be less crowded than usual.
A survey conducted by Pew a few weeks ago in early March revealed that 27% of American adults plan to go to church in person this year. If the year is normal, 44% of the group said they will go to work on Easter.
This is a big difference, a drop of 1
This reminds us that Covid’s control in the country is still high. Of course, all Sundays are important to Christians, but Easter is a special case-even those who rarely go to church attend. The decline shows that there are still many concerns among the loyalists.
Part of the reason for the decline may be the lack of desire to attend church visits, and the lack of desire to visit churches more often. The survey also asked regular religious service participants about the current status of their congregations compared to July. It found that more chapels were open, but there were still exceptions and attendance restrictions.
Since July, the number of churches closed has been declining. It is reduced by about half. However, nearly two-thirds of these open churches require some form of Covid-19 restrictions, such as social evacuations, which means fewer seats are available.
According to data from Pew, before Easter, only about 1 out of every 10 chapels were normally open.
Considering these figures, what did the believers do during their designated hours of worship? In the last month, many of them worshipped online or with the help of television.
In the past month, one-third of adults still attended virtual worship from the comfort of their own homes. And, when we consider the long-term impact of Covid on the country, please don’t forget the role that virtual or television services may play in future worship activities in the United States.
According to data released by Gallup this week, the number of Americans who say they are members of the church fell below 50% for the first time in 2020.
To be clear, this is not that 47% of adults say they believe in God, or even 47% of adults say they believe in a religion. 47% said they are members of a specific church.
All in all, these numbers raise a question. When the “virtual service” ends and believers have to decide whether they physically want to return to the church, what decision will they make? In a sense, this is the form of the same question we all ask about work and school.
Like other elements of society, we are in a moment of transformation. We will have to wait to see the long-term impact of Covid on the chapel. Next Easter, when all of us hope that the virus can hide behind us more thoroughly, we may have a more comprehensive understanding of the lasting impact of the pandemic on our worship.