How Covid Restrictions Affected Religious Groups

“During the COVID-19 pandemic, countries around the world restricted large gatherings to reduce the spread of the virus. Religious events, including in-person worship services, were banned in many places. In every region of the globe, at least some religious groups protested these regulations. Pew Research Center’s 13th annual report on restrictions on religion in 2020 includes a new analysis of how public health measures related to the coronavirus affected religious groups the year the pandemic took hold globally. The report also shows that overall government restrictions and social hostilities relating to religion remained fairly stable from 2019 to 2020. In 69 countries (35% of the total analyzed), one or more religious groups defied public health measures that were imposed during the pandemic. Religious groups criticized government-mandated public health measures in 54 countries (27% of all analyzed), often stating the rules were a violation of religious freedom. In nearly a quarter of countries, governments used physical force, such as arrests and raids, to make religious groups comply with COVID-19 public health measures. In 18 countries, authorities linked religious groups or gatherings to the spread of COVID-19. And in 39 countries (20% of all studied) private individuals or groups attributed the spread of the virus to religious groups. Meanwhile, the number of countries with either ‘high’ or ‘very high’ levels of government restrictions remained the same, at 57 countries (29%) from 2019 to 2020, a peak number for the study.”

“Key findings about Covid-19 restrictions that affected religious groups around the world in 2020,”, Nov. 29, 2022