This new report confirms what those who opened their churches were worried about. If you closed down for Covid, you might lose an entire generation.
From The Washington Times:
The COVID-19 pandemic has fueled a decline in attendance at religious services, particularly among those with a "weak" commitment to regular worship attendance, a unit of the American Enterprise Institute reported Thursday.
Americans maintained a "mostly stable" level of religious identity, the Survey Center on American Life determined, but more stopped going to worship services, with young adults reporting the sharpest decline.
Levels of affiliation remained fairly constant before and after the pandemic, researchers found, although slight drops came from those saying they were members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints or who identified as Hispanic Catholics.
Mormons and Catholics were the only faiths/denominations documented to lose followers. However, religions and churches of all stripes lost congregants, almost certainly because they kept their doors closed.
Using data from the 2022 American Religious Benchmark Survey, the AEI unit worked with the University of Chicago's National Opinion Research Center to tally religious affiliation and attendance before the pandemic (2018 to March 2020) and compare it with numbers from the spring of 2022.
From a July 2020 low of 13% of Americans saying they attended services in person, the percentage more than doubled to 27% in March 2022, but this was still lower than before the pandemic, and 33% of Americans said they never attend worship, up from 25% pre-pandemic.
At least 75% of Americans reported attending religious services before Covid. As of spring 2022, that number had only recovered from the 2020 low to 68%, meaning at least 7% – or one in 14 of your fellow Americans – tapped out for good.
During the same time, the number of people who openly said they "never" attend church rocketed up by 8%.
It's almost as if the congregants believed it when their churches pretty much admitted they were non-essential.
However, the AEI report said, "The increase in Americans who report never attending religious services was largely driven by those who had sporadic attendance patterns before the pandemic."
The group said the rise in nonattendance came from people who attended worship infrequently before the pandemic, with only a few regular attendees dropping out.
Among the study's conclusions is that "the post-pandemic religious decline may portend increasing religious polarization, with more Americans either very religiously active or completely inactive," the AEI unit reported.
I had discussions with people in my own church, as well as others, where the common theme was this: If we don't open back up and declare that going to church is essential, we are going to lose all of those who were on the fence.
If irregular attenders get used to never going to church at all, they won't come back.
These numbers back up that theory.
At a time when leadership was needed in order for Christians to declare that church and Christianity were essential, the leaders often disappeared or became mouthpieces for Fauci and the government's awful response to Covid.
The church is the institution that stands between civilization and the imploding decay of sin. Its purpose is to disciple the nations and remind them that there is a God in heaven who both loves them and will one day judge them.
If you want to know how bad of a decision it was to close churches, look at the insane headlines you're seeing get worse day by day. That's your evidence.