A Pew research survey Friday found Americans like worshiping in person more than online or on TV. During the pandemic, many worshipers chose online religious services, as this Colorado church advertised during the pandemic. Photo by Xnatedawgx Wikimedia Commons
June 2 (UPI) -- A Pew Research Center report Friday found about a fourth of Americans regularly watch religious service online or on TV.
Pew found that roughly 4 in 10 people take part in religious services, either in person, online or on TV each month in the United States.
That 43% total number attending religious services has held steady since 2020, according to Pew. A majority of American adults -- 57% -- don't generally attend any type of religious services.
The survey revealed that more Americans prefer in-person services to doing it online.
"Americans tend to give higher marks to worshiping together in person," the Pew report found.
"While majorities express satisfaction with virtual services, even bigger shares of physical attenders say they feel extremely or very satisfied with the sermons (74%) and music (69%) at the services they attend in person."
People who attend virtual services are much less likely than in-person attendees to say they feel connected to other worshipers. One in five U.S. adults use apps or websites for scripture reading.
Sixty-five percent of regular in-person worshipers reported feeling a great deal or quite a bit of connection. Just 28% of regular viewers say they feel a strong connected with the worshipers they're watching.
"Most Americans who watch religious services on screens are happy with them," the survey found. "Two-thirds of U.S. adults who regularly stream religious services online or watch them on TV say they are either "extremely satisfied" or "very satisfied" with the services they see."
The Pew survey of 11,000 U.S. adults was conducted in November 2022.
Since the pandemic, watching virtual worship services on screens has declined, while the number attending in-person services rebounded and then plateaued.
Pew found that half of highly religious Americans under 50 are heavy users of religious technology, compared with about a third of highly religious Americans ages 65 and older.