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A COVID-19 Religion

A COVID-19 Religion

Faith Under Pressure: Refined to be Stronger 

By Mitchell Powers 

COVID-19 has limited the churchgoers’ ability to attend church and worship corporately. For others, the pandemic has brought about a deeper devotion, strengthened faith, and created a more authentic relationship with their understood deity. 

COVID-19 has rewritten some of the parameters of religion and how it is practiced and socially accepted. Persons of faith have had to distance or even isolate themselves from their spiritual community. Some have also argued that wearing masks in church has been an infringement on their religious rights and freedoms. However, amongst the difficulty of COVID-19 precautions, Willard Macaraan, a professor of theology and religious education at De La Salle University, argued that “there is, however, [COVID-19’s] share of concomitant benefits in the area of religious and spiritual wellness.” [1] 

As a natural effect to COVID-19 health precautions, churchgoers recalibrated the practice of their religion to online services, at-home small groups, or individual time for prayer and/or rituals. [2] For several religions, independent spiritual practices are encouraged and play out to be a strength for one’s own faith and overall wellbeing. However, in the years preceding the pandemic, independent spiritual practices and devotions were on the decline. 

Macaraan said, “As the pandemic restricts people to movement and social gathering, this may be an opportune time to [re]connect with one’s religio-spiritual well-being.” [3] That is, connect once again with individual prayer, meditation, and reflection with God. This opportunity is the benefit that comes from the circumstance of COVID-19. It is an opportunity to know God, and yourself in God, by means of quiet, alone time with God.  

Although there are some benefits during the pandemic, such as a growth in personal devotion, many still push for corporate worship. For Christians, the following words of Jesus ring: “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” [4] The life of Jesus acts as both indicative and imperative of how some Christians live their lives. Under the example of Christ, personal community, physical community, and connection seem vital for how faith and worship are played out. [5]  

See Also

Many people dislike COVID-19 and do not desire to live under the circumstances of the pandemic, but there are still positive effects for one’s own faith journey if they choose to embrace the situation.  

However, as people of faith continue their journey through COVID-19, they must remember the importance and value of an in-person community. Christians, especially, must recognize God’s imperative for life and worship in community. We must take advantage of our moment’s benefit, and still strive for the God designed togetherness while in the pandemic and amongst difficult policies. 

References 

  1. Macaraan, W. E. R. (2021). The Covid-19 pandemic and its concomitant benefits: The religio-spiritual wellness. Journal of Public Healthhttps://doi.org/10.1093/pubmed/fdab252 
  1. Bryson, J. R., Andres, L., & Davies, A. (2020). COVID‐19, virtual church services and a new temporary geography of home. Wiley Online Library. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/tesg.12436 
  1. Macaraan, W. E. R. (2021). The Covid-19 pandemic and its concomitant benefits: The religio-spiritual wellness. Journal of Public Healthhttps://doi.org/10.1093/pubmed/fdab252 
  1. Mathew 18:20 NIV. 
  1. Hebrews 10:19-26 NIV. 
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