We begin by presenting the gross results of the importance of religion in the lives of the sampled population, the religion to which they belong, and their level of practice. They offer a type of “map of religions” in the sample. Later we analyze the changes in spirituality and religious practice that take place during confinement. We have used the 2256 responses to the questionnaire in Spanish, obtained by April 27, 2020.
Religion is important in the lives of half of the people in the sample (with some importance in 29% of the cases, and quite or very important in 22%).
And just over half of the people who answered the questionnaire (55%) say they belong to a religion. The dominance of Catholics (who are 44%) stands out, followed at a great distance by other religious denominations such as Buddhists (3% of the responses), 1% of Protestants and 0.5% of both Jews and Muslims. Other minority denominations that add up to 6% are Jehovah’s Witnesses, Christian Orthodox, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, various Christians, Wicca, etc.
Before confinement, the level of religious practice of the respondents was not very high. Participation in group or collective practices stands out as being a minority, only a third of the people in the sample did so. In contrast, almost half (46%) carried out some type of individual practice before confinement.
Confinement seems to be associated with some changes in the religiosity and spirituality of the study´s sample.
A third (32%) of the respondents consider themselves more spiritual during confinement. And, in addition, daily practice has increased, whether individual or in group. On the other hand, less frequent practices (weekly or occasional) have greatly decreased.
With the confinement and the impossibility of meeting and attending the centers of worship, it was expected that the collective religious practices would disappear. But as we can see, although they have been reduced, they have not disappeared. Possibly this is due to the adaptation of some communities to the situation and the introduction of new technologies as a means of practicing. It is also possible that within the families with which they cohabit, some collective practices that were previously done sporadically can now be carried out on a daily basis.
Confinement appears to have been an opportunity for introspection that has increased spirituality and daily religious practice and has prevented the disappearance of collective group practice, despite its great reduction.
José Antonio Rodríguez Díaz; Anna Burgués Freitas; Aitor D. Aguayo; José Luis Condom Bosch, “Preliminary results 4: Religion and spirituality during confinement» (UB: EPP, May 2020)