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New Barna Survey Finds 1 in 3 Christians Stopped Attending Online or In-Person Church Services During Pandemic

07-13-2020

The Barna Group released a new survey looking at the changes among church attendance after the COVID-19 pandemic grew in the US. 

The result: Research has revealed that one in three practicing Christians has stopped attending church services.

Amid the pandemic, churches were forced to shut their doors and begin streaming Sunday services online. The switchover was well-received by some, but unpopular with others. 

The poll conducted last week by the research firm found: 

  • 35 percent are still attending their pre-COVID church.
  • 32 percent are no longer attending church.
  • 14 percent have switched to a new church.
  • And 18 percent are watching worship services from different churches each month.

Barna's research showed a pattern between the different generations of practicing Christians who attend church online.

  • 50 percent of Millennials have stopped attending church.
  • 17 percent of Generation X attend a new church.
  • 40 percent of Baby Boomers stayed at the same church. 

And practicing Christians who have decreased their access to online church services or have stopped attending church are more emotionally stressed.

The survey noted that 17 percent say they are bored "all of the time" and 11 percent admit to feeling "insecure" at times. 

The pandemic has upended so many of life's routines.  According to Barna researchers, it is difficult to determine what has caused believers to stop watching online church services or change churches. But it is clear that churchgoers across the nation are still seeking support from a church community. 

  • 68 percent long for prayer and emotional support.
  • 44 percent are looking for a Bible-centered message of hope.
  • And 35 percent want to connect within the faith community.

Despite the changes caused by COVID-19, many remain close to the church and turn to communities of faith for support. 

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