Almost one in three Americans say the Covid-19 pandemic has made their religious faith stronger, a much higher percentage of people compared to other countries, according to a report.
In the UK, one in 10 people said their faith had been strengthened, a ratio that matches the average in 14 countries surveyed by the Washington-based Pew Research Center.
Only 2% of Danes and 3% of Swedes report that their personal belief is stronger. For Germans and Japanese the ratio was 5%.
Pew said in its report that the discrepancy between the United States on the one hand and Western European and East Asian countries on the other hand, is likely due to the fact that religion has continued to play a stronger role in American life compared to many economically advanced countries.
White evangelical Christians in the United States were more likely than other Christians to report a stronger faith due to the coronavirus pandemic, with 49% saying it had grown.
Significantly higher percentages of people said the epidemic has strengthened family ties. More than four in 10 people in Spain, Italy, the United States and the United Kingdom – countries hit early by the COVID-19 virus – said their relationship with immediate family members was getting stronger. Only 18% in Japan and South Korea agreed.
“As many families in the countries surveyed remain confined to their homes due to compulsory home work and closed or virtual schools, more people are saying that their relationships with immediate family members have become stronger than they say these relationships have weakened,” Pew said. .
The average in 14 countries was 32% saying relationships grew stronger, while 8% said the opposite. Across 11 countries, the majority said the pandemic has not altered their relationship with their immediate families.
The Pew Center conducted its survey last summer when COVID-19 infections and deaths were relatively low. More than 14,000 people were questioned by phone.