4 June 2020   |

Four out of five Adventist Today readers report that they are sheltering at home as much as possible and their local church is using an electronic connection for its Sabbath worship services. Small numbers indicate that they or a family member have been infected or a close friend or relative has been hurt by the worldwide health crisis.

In a survey taken over the last four weeks, a sample of Adventists were asked two key questions about how the viral epidemic has touched their personal life and their local church. The first question was, “How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected you and your immediate family?” The largest share, 81 percent responded, “I am sheltering at home as much as possible.” Another 22 percent indicated they are working from home and 14 percent volunteered that they are retired and work is not an issue for them. Some 6 percent said that the health crisis had caused them or their spouse to lose work with a smaller number mentioning resulting financial problems. Just 2 percent reported that they personally or their spouse or a child in the home had been infected by the virus, with very few indicating that it resulted in hospitalization. Only 8 percent said that it had harmed a relative or close friend outside the immediate family.

The second question was, “How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected your local church?” The largest response was the 80 percent who indicated that “Sabbath services are via the Internet or telephone.” A majority (51 percent) reported that Sabbath School classes and small groups meet online and more than a third (37 percent) said that church members stay in touch by phone or Email. Only 22 percent indicated that there are no services on Sabbath of any kind, and just 16 percent said that giving is down and church finances are hurting.

The survey was conducted from May 12 through June 4 with a random sample of 1,101 individuals. The standard allowance for error in a survey of this size is 3 percentage points, plus or minus.

Most of the responses were from readers in North America, with only 16 percent from the rest of the world. For future surveys, Adventist Today would very much like to increase the number of individuals willing to participate who live outside North America. If you live in a country other than the United States or Canada are willing to do so, please send an email to atoday@atoday.org and “reader surveys” in the subject line.

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