We here at Really Right are vindicated once again on the issue of Covid and church attendance.
The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep. –John 10: 13
A survey released last week found that a third of Americans have stopped attending religious services in the wake of the COVID pandemic.
The survey, “Faith After the Pandemic: How COVID-19 Changed American Religion,” was released Thursday. Conducted by the American Enterprise Institute in conjunction with the University of Chicago’s National Opinion Research Center (NORC), the survey examined findings of the 2022 American Religious Benchmark Survey, which asked 9,425 participants about their religious self-identity and attendance from February to April 2022. The participants were selected for having previously taken part in similar surveys in 2018 and March 2020.
According to the results of the survey, 33% of Americans do not attend religious services at all post-COVID, as opposed to 25% before the pandemic. Also down is the number of Americans that attend either regularly (24%) or monthly (8%), as opposed to a pre-COVID cumulative number of 36% (26% and 10%, respectively), Religion News Service reported.1/3 of Americans do not attend religious services in the post-COVID era: poll
According to the survey, conservatives, adults 50 and older, married adults, and those with a college degree remained likely to attend a religious service. However, while the percentage of Americans who attend in-person religious services has more than doubled since July 2020 (then 13%), standing at 27% in March 2022, this is still below pre-COVID numbers, the survey notes.
Further, the survey also shows that the percentage of conservatives who never attended religious services post-COVID has gone up, from 14% to 20%. Likewise, women, who the survey contends are more likely to attend religious services, also experienced a decline in attendance, with the percentage of women not attending religious services up from 23% to 31% post-COVID. A similar increase happened in men, the survey notes, with 34% of men not attending religious services as opposed to 28% before COVID.
Among Catholics, the percentage of white Catholics who never attend services has gone up from 11% to 18%. Among Hispanic Catholics, the difference was higher, with 10% not attending as opposed to 20% post-COVID.
So, there you have it, proof that scattering God’s sheep has caused many to be lost—probably for good.
The survey also notes that “[C]hanges in worship help us understand how the pandemic has diminished — perhaps permanently — the role of religious participation in the lives of individual Americans and society as a whole.”
Oh, the church I have been attending has been hemorrhaging of members, money, and good will with many people angry with the clergy but not because of Covid.
Frankly, I think closing during Covid has put many congregations into a death spiral from which most will never recover. I look for a gradual death for my current church. Demographically, it’s all but a certainty. The fear of offending people with the Truth causes the clergy to fail in its mission of equipping the saints to deal biblically with life’s challenges.
My pastor hopes we can just hide-out within our church and all the bad stuff will Passover us. He seems to be perfectly fine with our culture and world going to hell as long as they leave us in peace. I seem to recall something about hiding your light under a bushel basket, but my sense was that it wasn’t a good thing for churches to do. Maybe seminary graduates know something we don’t.