October 6, 2020, 14:00–15:00
Room Zoom Meeting
This study investigates U.S. churches' response to the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic by looking at their public Facebook posts. Facebook IDs were collected from an online registry at usachurches.org and Facebook posts were obtained via CrowdTangle. Our sample contains information on church pages that posted at least once between January and June 2020 (admittedly a sample likely to be biased towards more technology-friendly organizations). We find that overall in our sample the share of churches that posted at least one video on a given Sunday more than doubled when comparing the time before the pandemic (before March 2020) with April 2020 (the peak of pandemic in terms of death in the U.S. so far), and has remained well above baseline levels. We examine the extent to which churches' prior characteristics and behaviors (such as their size and worship style) is associated with their response to the Covid-19 shock. Preliminary results indicate that mega and large churches were very quick to offer online alternatives and continue to do so in the period after April 2020. The response of medium and small churches, as well as churches described to have a traditional worship style, was sightly slower but the proportion offering an online alternative more than doubles as well. Yet, their online activities seem to decrease over time.
Eva Raiber (Aix-Marseille School of Economics), “U.S. Churches' Response to COVID-19: Preliminary Results from Facebook”, IAST Lunch Seminar, Toulouse: IAST, October 6, 2020, 14:00–15:00, room Zoom Meeting.