One-quarter of U.S. adults overall (24 percent) say their faith has become stronger because of the coronavirus pandemic, while just 2 percent say their faith has become weaker. The majority say their faith hasn’t changed much (47 percent) or that the question isn’t applicable because they were not religious to begin with (26 percent).
Opinions on this question vary based on respondents’ religious affiliation and how religious they are. Christians are more likely than other religious groups in this analysis to say their faith has grown stronger as a result of the pandemic, a feeling that is reported by 56 percent of Protestants in the historically black tradition, as well as by four-in-ten evangelicals (42 percent) and roughly one-quarter of Catholics (27 percent) and mainline Protestants (22 percent).
Jews, on the other hand, are more likely to say their faith hasn’t changed much (69 percent) or that the question isn’t applicable to them because they are not religious (22 percent) than they are to say their faith has grown stronger during the outbreak (7 percent). Among the religiously unaffiliated — those who say their religion is atheist, agnostic or “nothing in particular” — roughly a quarter say their faith hasn’t changed much (26 percent), while the majority say they were not religious to begin with (65 percent).
The most religious Americans — those who frequently pray and attend services (at least in typical times) and who rate religion as very important to them — are far more likely than others to say their faith has grown stronger as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. In other words, the self-reported strengthening of religious faith has been most pronounced within a segment of the public that was already quite religious to begin with.
There also are differences on this question by race and ethnicity, gender and age. Larger shares of black Americans than whites or Hispanics say their faith has grown stronger as a result of the coronavirus outbreak; women and older adults are more likely to say this than men and younger adults.
–Dwight Widaman | Metro Voice