Black Americans Deepen their Faith Amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic
Growth in Spiritual Faith
Based on the Pew Research Center, the COVID-19 pandemic has not only changed everyone’s lives in a myriad of ways but also their religious faith. For instance, 41% of Black Americans share that their faith has grown stronger amidst the pandemic. The second highest percentage would be 30% of Hispanics who say their faith has increased. Overall, women and older adults have shared a boost in their faith by 30% (women) and 29% (those 65+ years old).
Throughout history, connecting to a higher power has empowered and strengthened generations of Black Americans. This enduring legacy of spirituality continues to remain as a source of hope for the Black community. Spiritual initiatives can also help lift people’s wellness, foster collaborative relationships, and provide ongoing support during tough times.
Ways to Bolster Spiritual Faith
There are several ways to strengthen Black Americans’ spiritual faith during COVID-19, including the following:
Gain access to religious institutions: While many houses of worship have closed in-person services, many are offering live streaming or recorded services online. This allows the Black community to stay connected to a higher power and fellow congregants. Many religious institutions also often help gather necessities such as food, supplies, and clothing for the local community. In addition, faith communities tend to have volunteers who can engage in delivering meals to the elderly or those with compromised immune systems. Vast resources can pool together during the pandemic to help others in need and provide guidance to those seeking to raise their spiritual awareness.
Initiate projects to help others: This global pandemic can often lead others to feel more isolated, anxious, and lonely, especially for those who live alone or reside far away from loved ones. However, outreach ideas can include connecting with loved ones and even strangers through online video chats, sending online messages of love, or even mailing thoughtful cards the old-fashioned way. You can nurture shared prayer time by attending prayer groups and participating in prayer chains. Other ways to help the local community can be to have groceries or pharmacy medication delivered to those who cannot travel independently. As a reminder, when people do go out to work together, be sure proper hygiene and interactions follow CDC regulations, such as washing hands regularly, wearing face masks, and maintaining a distance of six feet apart.
Learn from others: Even though the current situation can make people feel disconnected, there are still many ways to stay connected with others. Reading books can provide solace during troubling times and raise empathy for others. It can also serve as a healthy catharsis to keep your mind off of challenging matters. Other options are listening to inspirational podcasts, watching spiritual movies, and focusing on spiritual disciplines such as meditation, fasting, and prayer. Moreover, you can keep a journal to write down any frustrations, goals, and prayer requests. Journals are also a great way to see how much you have grown throughout a specific period of time and turn your worries over to a higher being.
Make a change in perspective: Throughout history, people have battled and overcome traumatic experiences and various modes of suffering. Try positive religious reframing to transcend stressful times by seeing each tragedy as an opportunity to get closer to a higher power and state of being. Identify blessings and be grateful for what and who you have in your life. Accept that change will continue to happen and look forward to the future. Stay hopeful by remaining proactive, practicing self-care, and making each day meaningful. Set a goal to accomplish each day to give you more purpose. And despite facing any setbacks, believe that you can continue to work on a given situation. Take steps of faith and restore other people’s faith by radiating kindness and love.
Despite the challenging COVID-19 pandemic, Black Americans are increasing their spiritual faith in a higher power more than ever before. By continuing to focus on strengthening one’s spiritual resilience, other challenges can also be overcome as hope takes precedence.
To learn more about COVID-19 and to get up to date information on cases, testing sites and other resources visit coronavirus.dc.gov