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More Than Half of Americans Praying to Cope with Pandemic, but Has Binge-Watching Replaced the Bible?


A new survey has revealed that 55% of US adults, totaling 115 million men and women, have regularly turned to prayer during the COVID-19 pandemic. But most are not turning to the Bible for comfort, they're tuning into Netflix. 

According to the Religious Freedom and Business Foundation (RFBF), the Pew Research Center data is good news as it also points to the importance for employers to include faith as a part of their resources for employees as businesses try to navigate the workplace in the present coronavirus world.

Workplace religious inclusion is a growing trend in corporations across the US. Many industries are realizing that faith-friendly environments mean better workplaces and ultimately better businesses. 

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The RFBF reports that, since April, representatives from companies including Intel, American Express, American Airlines, Salesforce, and most recently DELL Technologies, have shared about their multi-faith programs aimed at not only encouraging members at work but also reaching out to the communities where they work.

As the US is becoming more religiously diverse, religion and belief are being recognized as being key elements of a company's overall diversity and inclusion initiatives. Faith-interested employees are also being embraced by companies because it adds to their bottom line through increased morale. 

However, it's not all good news on the spiritual front as many US adults are not turning to God's word during the pandemic – instead, they're just binge-watching TV. 

The latest Pew survey reveals 89% of those polled are watching movies or TV daily or weekly. This includes 90% of all Christians, 87% of Jews, and 88% of the religiously unaffiliated, according to Pew. 

Many Americans (84%) are also spending free time outdoors or talking to family and friends using the phone or video (70%). 

Scripture reading was reported among the less common coping activities. Three-in-ten US adults say they read scripture at least weekly, and a quarter meditate each week to cope with the pandemic, according to Pew. 

Pew surveyed 10,211 American adults online between July 13 and 19.

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