By Aaron Earls
While the coronavirus outbreak has caused church buildings to close across the country, most religious Americans believe God is still speaking and He’s using the pandemic to do so.
LifeWay Research found 9 in 10 Protestant churches did not physically gather during the month of April.
Yet, a recent Associated Press survey found 63% of Americans who believe in God say He, through the pandemic, is telling humanity to change the way we are living.
Black Americans (73%) and Hispanic Americans (65%) are more likely than white Americans (48%) to believe God is using the coronavirus to communicate the need for lifestyle changes.
Still, when asked about causes of the current coronavirus situation, only 11% of Americans pointed the finger at human sinfulness.
Few Americans have changed their opinion of God’s existence because of COVID-19—2% now believe in God when they didn’t before, and less than 1% say they no longer believe.
Four in 5 Americans (80%) say they believed in God before the outbreak and still do today, while 17% did not believe and still don’t.
When asked if the coronavirus outbreak has impacted their faith, almost 3 in 4 Americans (73%) say it has remained the same.
A quarter (26%) say their faith has grown stronger during the pandemic, and only 1% say it has grown weaker.
A recent Pew Research survey found similar results, with 24% of Americans saying their faith has grown stronger as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.
Evangelicals (42%) and historically black Protestants (56%) are more likely to say their faith is stronger than mainline Protestants (22%) or Catholics (27%).
Those who attend church more frequently are also more likely to say their faith has been strengthened during this time.
In the AP study, more than half of religious Americans (55%) say they believe God will protect them from being infected by the coronavirus.
White evangelicals (67%) are more likely to believe in divine protection than other Americans who believe in God (53%).
Few Americans who say they believe in God are doubting God exists (14%) or think He has abandoned humanity (9%) because of the coronavirus.
AARON EARLS (@WardrobeDoor) is online editor of Facts & Trends.