Across the Developed World, People Report That the Pandemic Has Strengthened Their Faith

February 17, 2021 | Jeremy Weber
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Last month, the Pew Research Center released a study on the effects of the coronavirus on religiosity, drawing on survey data from the U.S., Canada, Australia, South Korea, Japan, and several European countries. Jeremy Weber writes:

[A]s the coronavirus closed churches worldwide, a global survey of more than 14,000 people has found that few lost faith while many of the most faithful gained [more]. . . . Americans were [the most] likely to report that their religious faith had become stronger due to the pandemic. . . . Next came Spaniards and Italians, whose nations were two of the worst hit during the coronavirus’s deadly outbreak in the spring. . . . Meanwhile, Koreans were [most] likely to report that their religious faith had become weaker due to the pandemic.

[Moreover], of respondents who said religion was “very important” in their lives, a far larger share reported strengthened faith. This included 49 percent of faithful Spaniards, 45 percent of Americans, 44 percent of Italians, and 40 percent of Canadians. The global median was 33 percent.

Among all Americans, 24 percent said their faith had been strengthened in April, compared to the 28 percent in the summer. . . . About a third of Americans believe the pandemic offers a lesson for humanity sent by God (35 percent), according to a prior Pew survey. A similar share (37 percent) believes there is a lesson to learn but it was not sent by God.

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