• A new study finds religious behavioral responses to the Covid pandemic, such as prayer, to be positively correlated with medically advised measures like mask-wearing and social distancing. The study, published in the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion (online February) and conducted by West Virginia University researchers Katie E. Corcoran, Bernard DiGregorio, and Chris Scheitle, analyzed 2,000 responses from an AmeriSpeak panel survey of 50,000 individuals that asked a range of questions about how respondents dealt with the pandemic. The researchers found that the more religiously active respondents, measured by congregation attendance and belief that the Bible is the word of God, were willing to use both medical and religious strategies such as prayer, suggesting that religious responses are not replacing medically recommended responses.But this was not the case for those defined as “Christian nationalists,” who favored religious rather than medical responses, believing that the solution to the pandemic did not lie in taking medical precautions but increasing America’s religious devotion and repenting of national sins. Republicans were significantly less likely to have undertaken either religious or medical responses to the pandemic compared to Democrats, since they were more likely to believe that Covid was a hoax or not more serious than the flu, suggesting that the politicized nature of the pandemic has shaped religious responses as well.

    Source: Religion Unplugged.

    (Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion,