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Tags: gallup poll | church attendance | religion

Gallup Poll: Church Numbers Down Since Pandemic

By    |   Monday, 26 June 2023 12:19 PM EDT

Church attendance has dropped lower in the United States than it was in the four years before the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new Gallup survey.

In the latest polls, 31% of the respondents say they had attended services in a church, synagogue, mosque, or temple during the past seven days, and in Gallup's polls from 2020 to May 1-24, 2023, the average was 30%, The Hill reported.

But in the years before the pandemic, an average of 34% of the respondents said they had attended services in the past week.

The surveys also show attendance has dropped by 10 percentage points recorded in 2012 and most years before. 

"It is not clear if the pandemic is the cause of the reduced attendance or if the decline is a continuation of trends that were already in motion. However, the temporary closure of churches and ongoing COVID-19 avoidance activities did get many Americans out of the habit of attending religious services weekly," the Gallup survey found.

The data showed that attendance has been dropping across most of the subgroups, except for those that already had marked low attendance before the pandemic started. That includes those who say they have no religious affiliation as well as political liberals.

However, all political ideologies showed similar declines in their church habits, ranging from three to five percentage points, while Republicans remained more likely to go to church compared to Democrats or independents:

  • 45% of Republicans answered yes about church attendance in the four pre-pandemic years of 2016 through 2019, compared to an average of 40% of Republicans asked between 2020 and 2023.
  • 30% of Democrats answered yes in the pre-pandemic surveys, compared to 25% in the surveys from 2020-2023.
  • 28% of independents said yes in the pre-pandemic years, compared to 25% between 2020 and 2023. 
  • Meanwhile, people are attending church once again in person, but weren't at the start of the pandemic, the survey showed. 

In April 2020, 31% of the adults surveyed said they attended a service in the past seven days, but 27% were attending virtual services and 4% attended in person.

But after vaccines became widely available by May 2021, church attendance went to 30%, but twice as many people were attending in person as were attending virtual services. 

In the last week of the survey, 26% said they attended a service in person, and 5% said they were in attendance virtually.

The survey was conducted on 1,011 adults from the U.S. and the District of Columbia and carried a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.

Sandy Fitzgerald

Sandy Fitzgerald has more than three decades in journalism and serves as a general assignment writer for Newsmax covering news, media, and politics. 

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


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Church attendance has dropped lower in the United States than it was in the four years before the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new Gallup survey.
gallup poll, church attendance, religion
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2023-19-26
Monday, 26 June 2023 12:19 PM
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