Younger adults more likely to pray regularly amid Coronavirus lockdown

(Photo: Unsplash/Olivia Snow)

New research has found that faith and prayer are helping many Brits through the coronavirus lockdown.

In a new study by Savanta ComRes1 for Tearfund, nearly half of UK adults (44%) said they pray, with a third of those saying they have prayed since the start of the lockdown because they believe it makes a difference. 

Over half of those who pray (56%) agreed that prayer changes the world.

Significantly, younger adults were more likely to say they prayer regularly - at least once a month - than those aged 55 and over (30% vs 25%).

Asked what they pray about, over half (53%) said for friends and family, a quarter (27%) for frontline services and a fifth for someone who is suffering from coronavirus.  Fifteen per cent said they had prayed for other countries affected by the pandemic.

Half of those surveyed (51%) said they had witnessed answers to their own prayers, while two thirds agreed that God hears their prayers. Nearly half (43%) said that their prayer can change the lives of people living in poverty in developing countries.

In the survey of 2,101 UK adults, a quarter said they have watched or listened to a religious service on the radio, live on TV, on demand or streamed online since the lockdown.

With church buildings closed and restrictions on gatherings, this figure jumped among regular churchgoers to three quarters (76%). 

But the survey also revealed that a significant number of 18- to 34-year-olds (34%) have watched or listened to a religious service since lockdown, while 5% of respondents who said they had done this had never gone to church previously. 

Dr Ruth Valerio, Global Advocacy and Influencing Director at Tearfund says: "It is encouraging to see the number of people in the UK praying during such a challenging time.

"Our experience at Tearfund is that prayer and practical action go hand-in-hand, and are both crucial ways of responding.

"With COVID-19 rates continuing to rise around the world, we are calling more people to pray and take action."