Poll shows high level of religious worship during lockdown

There continues to be a high degree of religious practice in Ireland even while churches and houses of worship are closed to the public during the covid-19 lockdown.

That’s according to a new poll from Amarach Research, commissioned by The Iona Institute.

It found that 27pc of the public have watched or listened to at least one religious service during the current period, and 18pc are praying more than they usually would.

The survey also finds: 85pc believe we will value family more after the lockdown ends; 75pc think we will value the elderly more; and, 31pc believe we will be more spiritual.

A more detailed look highlights some unexpected findings. For example, 24pc of 18-24 year olds saying they are praying more than usual. This is the same as for over 55s, but far higher than the age groups in between. Some 37pc say they are praying about the same as usual; while just two percent say they are praying less than usual.

The poll (conducted in the first and second weeks of April) finds that 15pc of those aged 18-24 have watched at least one religious service in the current period. This rises to 44pc among the over 55s.

Commenting on the findings, Brendan Conroy of The Iona Institute said it is “encouraging that so many people are still taking part in religious services in whatever way they can during the current unprecedented situation.

He continued: “It is also good to see that almost one in five people are praying more. This is a natural religious reaction in a time of crisis.

“It is also obvious from the survey that people are using this time to take stock”, he said.