Close to 30% of American adults state that the COVID-19 pandemic has strengthened their personal faith as well as the overall religious faith of Americans, and about 40% say it has tightened family bonds.
A Pew Research Center survey conducted last summer revealed that Americans are more likely than survey respondents in 14 economically developed countries to affirm the positive impact of the pandemic on religious faith. For example, while 28% of American adults report that the pandemic strengthened their personal faith as well as the religious faith of their fellow Americans, only 10% of British adults say their personal faith is stronger, and 14% think the faith of Britons overall has increased.
In Japan, 5% of survey respondents report the pandemic has strengthened their personal faith and the faith of fellow citizens. The median for the 14 countries that were part of the survey is 10% who report a strengthened personal faith and 15% who report a stronger faith among people in their country.
Those who are more religious are more likely to say the pandemic has strengthened their faith and that of others in their country. Among white evangelical Protestants in America, 49% say their faith has grown, and 43% think the faith of Americans has been strengthened.
Still, a majority of Americans (68%) state that the pandemic has not changed their religious faith much, and 4% report their religious faith is weaker. Among Americans, 47% say the religious faith of their fellow citizens has not changed much, and 14% report that religious faith in America has weakened as a result of the pandemic.
Even with the cancelation of religious activities and in-person services throughout the world, a median of just 3% throughout the 14 countries say their own religious faith has weakened.
Impact on family bonds
Survey respondents in countries that were hit hard by the pandemic in the spring of 2020 report that family relationships have strengthened: Spain, 42%; Italy, the United Kingdom and America, 41% each.
As Americans experienced lockdowns, economic turmoil and fears about becoming ill or dying with the virus, 50% of adults report family relationships have not changed much and 8% say they were weakened.
With many younger adults in America moving home during the pandemic, young Americans are more likely than older Americans to say their family relationships have strengthened. Half of adults ages 18-29 say their family bonds have strengthened, compared with 38% of those 50 and older.
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