by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) – A new AP-NORC poll shows that over 25% of US adults who attended a church, mosque, or synagogue prior to the coronavirus pandemic have no plans to return to in-person services at this time, Christian Headlines reports. The survey was carried out from June 10–14 with 1,125 adults across the US and a margin of error of +/- 4.2 percentage points.
The poll showed that 73% of those who attended a house of worship at least once a month before the pandemic do plan on returning to in-person services in the near future, Christian Headlines reports. Moreover, thirty-four percent of respondents or participants in general plan to go to religious service in the coming weeks.
However, 27% of former churchgoers do not intend to return to services yet.
According to Scott McConnell, executive director of the evangelical research firm Lifeway Research, a significant number of churchgoers lost the motivation to attend services. “That’s a lot of momentum to lose and a lot of people stepping out of the habit” of weekly worship, McConnell to Associated Press.
Notably, a Gallup survey taken earlier this year found that for the first time in nearly 80 years, over half of Americans said they were not members of a house of worship, Christian Headlines reports. Gallup reported that, in 1937, 73% of respondents had been members at a house of worship; that figure was down to 49% in 2020.
Observing that the decline in membership at a house of worship may continue despite the country’s recovery from the pandemic, Gallup Senior editor Jeffrey M. Jones wrote in a statement: “While it is possible that part of the decline seen in 2020 was temporary and related to the coronavirus pandemic, continued decline in future decades seems inevitable, given the much lower levels of religiosity and church membership among younger versus older generations of adults.”
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