Watching church services online instead of attending in person remains popular, poll finds

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by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent

(Worthy News) – A new survey of American Protestant Churchgoers shows that watching live-stream church services instead of attending in person remains a popular option, with nearly 40% saying they watched online more than five times in the past year, Relevant Magazine reports. The poll was conducted by Lifeway Research between September 19-29, 2022 with 1,002 participants.

The survey asked: “In the last year, approximately how many times have you watched a live video stream of a church service instead of attending in person?”

In terms of gender, “males are more likely to select “None” than females (25% v. 17%),” the poll found. In terms of age, “those aged 50-64 (27%) and 65+ (26%) are more likely to select “None” than those 18-34 (13%) and 35-49 (12%); those aged 18-34 (27%) and 35-49 (25%) are more likely to select “3 to 5 times” than those aged 50-64 (14%) and 65+ (18%),” the poll found.

In terms of ethnicity, “whites (23%) are more likely to select “None” than African Americans (13%); African Americans (26%) and Hispanics (26%) are more likely to select “3 to 5 times” than Whites (17%), the poll found.

In any event, the poll found that although the volume of online watching has decreased significantly since the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2021. “Fewer churchgoers see video streaming as a valid replacement for physically attending church when sick, traveling, too far away to attend, and when you get up late than in 2019,” Lifeway Research said in its report.

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