A new survey showed that the majority of Americans support safety precautions imposed on churches during the Covid-19 pandemic.
According to Pew Research Center, about eight in ten or 79% of Americans are in favor of houses of worship following the social distancing rules required in organizations or businesses. Among Christians, 74% agreed that churches should not be exempted from the health guidelines being implemented on other establishments.
The Pew report said, “On this question, Americans seem to align with two recent Supreme Court orders, which rejected lawsuits claiming that state restrictions on worship violated the First Amendment’s guarantee of religious freedom.”
Americans seem to align with two recent Supreme Court orders, which rejected lawsuits claiming that state restrictions on worship violated the First Amendment’s guarantee of religious freedom. —Pew Research Center
Large gatherings are discouraged to prevent the risk of transmission of the deadly virus. Several reports revealed that some Covid-19 outbreaks were traced to religious gatherings. Recently, a man attended worship services at a church in Ohio and got almost 100 people infected with the virus.
More than half of US adults, or 57%, who regularly attend religious services think that their church should be open, but with modifications and should implement the necessary health protocols such as social distancing (51%), requiring masks (44%), and limiting attendance (41%).
When asked about the current operating situation of their congregation, 55% of Americans answered that their place of worship is open with modifications, 31% said it is closed, and 6% said it is open as normal just like before the pandemic.
With the Covid-19 outbreak putting a halt on all aspects of people’s lives, group worship included, churches had to resort into new avenues to reach the public. The report said, with the health crisis around the world, 79% of religious attenders in the US said their house of worship offers religious services online.
In an article by Frank Newport, he wrote that virtual worship is “in many ways an extension of existing practices. Most religious leaders would no doubt say that virtual worship is a complement to, not a replacement for, in- person worship.”
The survey also found that when the Covid-19 pandemic is over, 42% of Americans said they will attend services in church as often as they did before the outbreak, 43% of those who did not go to church before have no plans to go after the pandemic. Only 10% of US adults will attend in-person religious services more often than before the Coronavirus crisis.
The Pew survey interviewed 10,211 U.S. adults and the results of the report, “Americans Oppose Religious Exemptions From Coronavirus-Related Restrictions,” were issued on August 7.