After months of COVID-19-related restrictions compelled places of worship to suspend on-campus services across America, more than 70% of Protestant churches have cautiously resumed in-person services following the required safety measures, according to a new LifeWay Research survey.
About three months ago, in April, less than 10% of Protestant churches held in-person services, but the number climbed to more than 55% by the first weekend in June, and in July, more than 70% met physically, according to the LifeWay survey.
“While more and more churches have resumed in-person worship services, it has not always been a straight path back,” said LifeWay Research’s executive director, Scott McConnell. “Some have had difficulty resuming or had to stop meeting again as things got worse in their area.”
The study found that 99% of the churches that have reopened to meet physically indoors are taking health and safety precaution.
For example, 94% of pastors said they provided hand sanitizer, masks or gloves to those needing it, 86% conducted additional cleaning of surfaces, and 76% closed seats to increase the distance between people.
Nearly 60% or churches meeting in-person have “recommended” masks, but only about 35% “required” attendees to wear them. And more than 20% of churches that have reopened added services to allow people to spread out more, and 18% provided additional viewing rooms to do so.
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