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Four years after the pandemic, churchgoers in Germany say online worship services are still useful

Half check the website of their local church on a regular basis and 24% follow Christian influencers, finds a study.

AUTOR 5/Evangelical_Focus BERLIN 22 DE FEBRERO DE 2024 13:22 h
Photo: [link]JLA[/link], Unsplash, CC0.

The beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic in the first trimester of 2020 led to heavy restrictions in most European countries which forced churches to re-think their weekly activities.



For the first time, thousands of churches started streaming worship services through internet platforms and using videocall platforms to connect members for prayer or Bible study.



A majority believe being able to follow a church worship service on a Sunday online is still a good idea, even when going in person to church is no longer restricted.



 



‘Online churches maintained or reintroduced’



A 56% of Germans asked by insurance company VRK said “regular online church services should generally be maintained (or reintroduced)”. 49% of church members used these online alternatives in the months with the highest restrictions, according to the report published.



Among the 5’000 who responded to the survey, half were workers in Christian organisations or churches and the other half not. Nine in ten respondents were members of a church (93% members of the national Protestant or Roman Catholic churches and a 3% members of free evangelical churches).



Internet is the most-used information channel mentioned by the surveyed (88% use it one or more hours per day), ahead of television (61%) and radio (40%).



 



Church websites and influencers



Church members are well connected with the official platforms of their local or national church, with 47% saying they regularly visit their local Christian community’s website. 24% follow Christian influencers and another 24% are informed about the work of Christian movements and NGOs through websites and social media.



When those working in Christian organisations are asked about Artificial Intelligence (AI), 8 in 10 said “it is not yet an issue in our organisation”, although 5% answer that they’re already using AI tools and another 4% plans to do so in a few years.



 



Crisis



According to the latest statistics, the largest churches in Germany (the Protestant EKD and the German Roman Catholic Church) are suffering heavy losses in membership. The use of new technologies and an effort to make access to the church life easier is not leading so far to an increase in churchgoers.



[analysis]

[title]One more year[/title]

[photo][/photo]

[text]At Evangelical Focus, we have a sustainability challenge ahead. We invite you to join those across Europe and beyond who are committed with our mission. Together, we will ensure the continuity of Evangelical Focus and Protestante Digital (Spanish) in 2024.





Learn all about our #OneMoreYearEF campaign here (English).



[/text][/analysis]


 

 


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