64 Percent of Regular Churchgoers Are Back to Attending In-Person Services, Survey Finds
A new survey found that about half (49 percent) of evangelical Christians are attending worship services in person and without any COVID-related restrictions.
Among the respondents who claim to "typically attend services at least once or twice a month," a majority (64 percent) said they have gone to church in person in the past month, according to the Pew Research Center, which conducted the poll.
In July 2020, that same number was 33 percent, and in March 2021, that number was 42 percent, Faithwire reports.
About 6 percent said their churches were still entirely closed.
"Among religious attenders, evangelical Protestants, White (non-Hispanic) Americans and Republicans are considerably more inclined than others to say their congregations should be open without pandemic-related restrictions," the study said.
In a review on church openings across denominations, 49 percent of evangelical Christians and 20 percent of mainline Protestants say their churches are open, The Christian Post reports. In the historically Black Protestant churches, that number is 14 percent, and among Catholic churches, that number is 19 percent.
Respondents also noted how clergy and church leaders have handled the debate over the COVID-19 vaccine.
"Almost two-thirds of Protestants in the historically black tradition (64 percent) say their clergy have encouraged people to get the vaccine, much higher than the share of Catholics (42 percent), mainline Protestants (42 percent) and evangelical Protestants (21 percent) who say they have received the same kind of encouragement from their leaders," the report said.
Only 4 percent of evangelicals said they have heard church leaders discourage the vaccine, but about 73 percent of evangelical churchgoers say their pastors have not said "much about COVID-19 vaccinations either way."
Respondents also said that "among the options presented by the survey, only primary care doctors rank above clergy in the share of U.S. congregants who have at least 'a fair amount' of trust in each group to provide guidance on vaccines."
Photo courtesy: Sincerely Media/Unsplash
Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.