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The study found the pandemic accelerated ongoing trends in religious change, including a drop in church attendance (Bigstock).

The percentage of Americans who attend religious services is now “significantly lower” than before the COVID-19 pandemic, especially among young people and other groups less likely to regularly attend, a new survey shows. Source: CNA.

“The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted much of American society, including religious worship,” said a January report on the survey “Faith After the Pandemic” from the American Enterprise Institute’s Survey Center on American Life.

“Rather than completely upending established patterns, the pandemic accelerated ongoing trends in religious change. Young people, those who are single, and self-identified liberals ceased attending religious services at all at much higher rates than other Americans did.”

“At least in terms of religious attendance, the pandemic appears to have pushed out those who had maintained the weakest commitments to regular attendance,” the American Enterprise Institute survey said.

As of (the northern) spring 2022, 33 per cent of Americans said they never attend religious services, up from 25 per cent before the World Health Organisation declared a pandemic in March 2020. Religious affiliation, though, is largely unchanged, according to the survey.

The results come from researchers at the the nonpartisan and objective research organisation NORC at the University of Chicago, which conducted the 2022 American Religious Benchmark Survey on behalf of the American Enterprise Institute (AEI).

Among white Catholics, the percentage of those who do not attend religious services increased from 11 per cent to 18 per cent. Hispanic Catholics who never attend increased from 10 per cent to 20 per cent. Almost half of Catholic respondents continued to say they attended religious services “infrequently,” the survey found.

However, consistent Mass-goers tended to continue their churchgoing habits. The percentages of white Catholics and Hispanic Catholics who regularly attend religious services now compared with before the pandemic were relatively unchanged at 30 per cent and 23per cent, respectively.


In pandemic’s wake, churchgoing takes a hit, survey indicates (By Kevin J. Jones, CNA)