New survey finds many Canadians turn to prayer and technology amid COVID-19 social distancing
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 10, 2020
One in four Canadians identifying as Christian, Muslim, or Jewish plans to celebrate an upcoming holy period by following a religious service online. Almost one in 10 also plans to pray online with family or other members of their faith, according to a new survey by the Angus Reid Institute in partnership with think tank Cardus just ahead of Easter Sunday and with Passover already underway.
“This will be the oddest ever Easter, Passover, or Ramadan for many Canadians,” said Ray Pennings, Executive Vice-President of Cardus. “The ancient is joining the ultra-modern as we find our way around necessary health restrictions that keep us from gathering together in our homes or houses of worship.”
Some religious activity is up during the COVID-19 pandemic. The survey found that 22 percent of all Canadians say they’re praying more than usual in this extraordinary time. Meanwhile, faith communities are also reaching out to Canadians facing economic or social hardship:
“I’m not surprised that almost one out of five Canadians report being assisted by the hands of faith groups in their communities over the last four weeks,” says Pennings. “Throughout history, faith groups have been among the first to mobilize to assist in a time of crisis. During a pandemic, there are numerous opportunities to fulfill their mandate for love of neighbour.”
The full survey is available online.