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Why Religious Congregations May Be Crucial to Halting the Spread of COVID-19

Elaine Howard Ecklund: Based on my research on our religious communities, I believe that even with their doors closed, religious organizations can still be vital partners in transmitting accurate scientific information. For the past 15 years, I have been studying the interactions between religious and scientific communities. While we may regard religion and science as at odds in our culture, the fact is that many Americans rely on their religious leaders to guide their attitudes about scientific findings. In my forthcoming book, Why Science and Faith Need Each Other: Eight Shared Values That Move Us beyond Fear, I show that 34 percent of evangelical Protestants and about 17 percent of all Americans say they would consult their religious leader with a question about science, especially science that seems to have moral implications.

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