Upcoming Events View All
2
Mass for God the Father

Sunday, 08/02/2020 at 1:30 PM

A woman prayed in a window opening overlooking a street in Milan, Italy, March 21 during a nationwide lockdown to reduce the spread of COVID-19. A recent study showed an increase in prayer and religious fervor in Italy amid the coronavirus pandemic.
A woman prayed in a window opening overlooking a street in Milan, Italy, March 21 during a nationwide lockdown to reduce the spread of COVID-19. A recent study showed an increase in prayer and religious fervor in Italy amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Photo Credit: Salvatore Laporta | Reuters

Study in Italy shows increase in prayer, religious fervor amid pandemic

Highest increase in prayer during pandemic was among those who did not attend Mass weekly

ROME — The uncertainty and restrictive measures in place due to the coronavirus pandemic caused an increase in prayers and religious fervor in Italy, a recent study said.

The study, which was released May 22, was conducted by the State University of Milan, to “daily monitor public opinion during the COVID-19 emergency” and the impact it “has had on the religiosity of Italians.”

After lockdown restrictions forced churches to close their doors, “the frequency of prayer and participation in religious services increased, although these could be attended only virtually,” the report stated.

The study was based on interviews with 4,600 people across Italy from April 20 to May 15. It showed the highest percentage increase in prayer during the pandemic was among Catholics who did not attend church at least once a week; 16% more of those who reported going to Mass at least once a month, but not every week, said they prayed each day during the pandemic.

The study, which asked participants about their behavior prior to the pandemic, reported an 11% increase in daily prayer among what it described as “nominal Catholics,” those who said they were Catholic but seldom or never went to Mass.

However, it added, “the growth of religious practice was primarily influenced by the most acute phase of the crisis. In fact, the frequency of prayer decreases with the reduction of those infected.”

Those who had a family member infected by the coronavirus “significantly increased their participation in religious services and prayer,” it said.

Participation at Mass — in person before the pandemic and online during it — was only minimally different for people over the age of 45, the study said. However, there was an increase of 17% in Mass participation among those under 45.

The study also revealed the sentiments of both practicing and nonpracticing Catholics toward the pope and the Church.

“Trust in Pope Francis,” the report said, “is much higher than trust in the institution of the Church. The gap between trust in Pope Francis and trust in the Church is growing, especially for less religious people.”

From the Archive Module

Study in Italy shows increase in prayer religious fervor amid pandemic 5367

Must Watch Videos

Now Playing

    View More Videos