This year, the COVID-19 pandemic has brought profound changes to our lives, including our religious observance. In accordance with government and public health measures, most churches and religious organizations closed to the public, adopting unprecedented measures such as livestream or drive-in worship services and suspended pilgrimage trips.
Though houses of worship across the globe are increasingly empty, not all religious leaders are ready to accept the norms of social distancing. Many religious traditions require social gathering and communal prayer during key events in the holy calendar, which has caused serious tension between religious and civic authorities. Some have decried government limits on religious freedom, while others have blamed religious groups for spreading the coronavirus or demonstrating increased risk of religious extremism.
Response to the global pandemic requires a reimagining of previous practices and the introduction of new approaches to our lives. The goal of this webinar will be to give an overview of the impact of the global pandemic on faith communities, and to look at possible scenarios in a post-COVID-19 world.
Questions to be discussed during the webinar:
• What are the main consequences of the pandemic for religious communities? How can religious leaders and their followers help overcome the challenges of the pandemic?
• How should we reduce social tension stemming from religious factors? How can we foster solidarity within and between different religious communities and improve mental and physical wellbeing during the pandemic?
• What religious practices could become the new normal in a post-COVID-19 world? What could be the future role of religion in society?