Pandemic and Religion

by blackspanielgallery

Will the pandemic leave us more religious, or will it be an undermining factor?

Will the Covid virus have an impact on religion? And if so, what will it be? These questions might be plaguing historians years from now, but it will be up to the current population to navigate what is to come.

I see multiple impacts, and as it so often is, the battle between good and evil will be fought. These impacts will come from many directions, and be fought on several fronts. And the consequences can only be speculated at this juncture. So, what are the possibilities?

Filling Churches, Synagogues, Mosques, and Other Places of Worship

One result of the pandemic has been restrictions on people’s movement, ranging from requests to full lockdowns.  These restrictions have inhibited people from gathering, including at places of worship.  In this area we have restrictions as to how many people can be present in a place, including a place of worship.  In our parish about half of the pews are roped off, and the ones in use require empty space between groups. 


Many people cannot attend religious services during this pandemic, or they can only attend services on a limited basis.  This brings up two possibilities, will they come back or are will they not?  If we consider what happened in many countries that restricted religion during Communist times, when the people were allowed access to religion later many had preserved their spiritual faith underground and returned to the churches. 


One alarming situation is that few people are bringing young children to religious services, children old enough to be in church, thus interrupting their formative years.  Will there be a lingering negative effect on the children years from now whereby they think not attending church is as it should be? 


Another problem is that the attendance at services is decreasing as new waves of the virus pass. 


After the virus passes, will the pews be fuller or less filled than they were before the pandemic?

Prayer, Or Anger?

During tribulations people seek help from God, and many pray more fervently than during normal times.  This can become a new norm, or at least lead to a better norm.  After the pandemic abates will we have a world closer to God as a result of a more prayerful population?


Of course, when adversity strikes many people look to blame their situation, whether it is a loss of a friend or relative, or sickness that visited them.  Unfortunately, God is often the subject of their wrath.  Will enough angry people make society more distant from God?


The best scenario is those who grow closer to God pray for those who distant themselves from God. 


Of the many vaccines, one vaccine has been identified as using stem cells from aborted fetuses.  I have heard opinions, including from the local Archbishop, who seemed to indicate if it is the only possibility it can be used, but opt for another if you can.  This is probably mute for most, since I doubt anyone will have a choice.


In addition, some object to all vaccines as opposed to the teachings of their religions.  Will they be forced to act against their beliefs?


Politicians now seem to have to blame things on the other side, and some are even not above taking credit for what the other side has done.  One cannot take as truth what is coming from the political arena.  Will the divide increase even further, being fueled by lies?  In other words, will the pandemic increase the influence of evil in the political arena?  It certainly has the potential to do so. 


In the future things will be different, but at this point in time we cannot know how. 


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Updated: 01/18/2021, blackspanielgallery
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blackspanielgallery on 12/27/2021

Thanks for commenting. One thing often impacts another.

aunice1 on 12/27/2021

Interesting article, blackspanielgallery. It makes one think about the pandemic's impact on people's practice of their faith traditions and what that means for the future..

blackspanielgallery on 01/20/2021

Certainly He does intend for us to knw much about His plan, but you are correct it that it does exceed our ability to understand. Faith is the requirement He places for such things that are beyond us as humans.
Perhaps the best analogy is that faced by a parent who must deny a child something even though the perception by the child does not include the depth of understanding of the overall consequences. Worse, is when one must deny one child because another will suffer consequences. God works with the whole, all of creation, of which we can see but a small part and have limited understanding.

frankbeswick on 01/20/2021

I think that God does not forbid us to know his plan, but that its intricacy is too much for us to understand. Would some knowledge be more than we can bear.

blackspanielgallery on 01/20/2021

The church on the left is Saint Mary's Assumption Catholic Church in New Orleans, which is also the place of burial and associated with the Shrine to Blessed Francis Xavier Selos, a priest who died during the Yellow Fever epidemic administrating to the workers who had become ill. He was a German born Redemptorist priest and died rather young in his ministry. I believe the shrine is now next door in a former convent. It was my parish when I was very young, and the Redemptorist order was still running it, and probably still do so. The inside is even more impressive.
Unfortunately, people seem to want to understand god's plan more than is allowed, and make disturbing conclusions when suffering happens to them.

DerdriuMarriner on 01/20/2021

blackspanielgallery, Thank you for the practical information, pretty picture and product line (I read the daily inspirations and the map to the future is more often away from its place on the shelf than on it).
It's disappointing, sad and unhelpful when God is blamed for something that people could have averted or minimized or terminated.
What is the church in the image to the left of your title?

blackspanielgallery on 01/18/2021

Here there was an effort locally to stop gatherings, then it went to 25% capacity, then 50%, now we are going back down. They included churches, and other places of worship, for all services. This comes from local and state levels, not the federal government. On Christmas we had extra Masses, and even two Masses concurrently, one in the church and one in the gym. With more than half the space empty the congregation would never have fit.
I realize prayer does not require a building, but it is nice to be able to attend.
Our archbishop gave a dispensation from Sunday Mass attendance since the allowed amount of people was so low. I do not know if that is nationally or locally. The bishops in the U. S. work together often.
I observed on one Sunday only one or two families had children between Communion and Confirmation ages.

frankbeswick on 01/18/2021

In the UK I have heard nothing negative being said about religion during the pandemic, though some politicians have shut churches when they have had the power [Scotland, where the churches are taking the devolved government to court about it.] People appreciate places of worship that open as vaccination centres and food banks. People are faced with problems, some turn to God, some don't. Time will tell. God is active despite the virus; Christ is alive; the Holy Spirit is working as normal.

Who is to say that people don't pray at home?

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