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Press Release from The Iona Institute

27pc say they have watched a religious service since the lockdown began 18pc say they are praying more

April 23, 2020 - A new poll from Amarach Research, commissioned by The Iona Institute, looks at how religious practice is taking place during the lockdown. It has found that:

  • 27pc of the public have watched or listened to at least one religious service during the current period

  • 18pc are praying more than they usually would

The survey also finds:

  • 85pc believe we will value family more after the lockdown ends

  • 75pc think we will value the elderly more

  • 31pc believe we will be more spiritual

A more detailed look highlights some unexpected findings. For example, 24pc of 18-24 year olds saying they are praying more than usual. This is the same as for over 55s, but far higher than the age groups in between. Just 9pc of 25-34 year olds say they are praying more than they normally would. Some 37pc say they are praying about the same as usual, while 43pc say they don’t pray. Two percent say they are praying less than usual. The poll (conducted in the first and second weeks of April) finds that 15pc of those aged 18-24 have watched at least one religious service in the current period. This rises to 44pc among the over 55s. Commenting on the findings, Brendan Conroy of The Iona Institute said: “It is encouraging that so many people are still taking part in religious services in whatever way they can during the current unprecedented situation. Weekly church attendance figures in Ireland are about 30pc and so the 27pc who are tuning into religious service online, or via TV or radio, is about the same as that. In other words, they are doing their best still to take part in communal acts of worship”. He continued: “It is also good to see that almost one in five people are praying more. This is a natural religious reaction in a time of crisis. For example, you are more likely to pray for your loved ones.” Brendan said: “It is also obvious from the survey that people are using this time to take stock. The fact that 85pc think we will value family more after, this, 75pc say we will value the elderly more, and 31pc think society will become more spiritual also indicate this”. ENDS

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