The COVID-19 pandemic may have forced Australians to stay inside their homes, but it has also added to their “spiritual growth,” a survey has found. 

A survey on 1,002 people conducted by Australian social researcher Mark McCrindle found more than 35% people “praying more and 41% were thinking about God more.”

Australia Monday reported 15 more deaths taking the national toll to 517 due to the COVID-19 while the country reported 121 new infections, lowest since early July. Most of the infections and deaths have been reported in Victoria state. There are 24,916 cases of the coronavirus in the country with 19,411 recoveries.

According to the survey conducted in between July 24 and 28, a quarter of the people examined said they have increased their time to read the Bible — the holy text of the Christians. Nearly 40% of the country’s population follow Christianity.

Due to the spread of the deadly infection, the government took several anti-COVID-19 measures, including closure of Churches.

Katie Stringer from Leichhardt, a teacher, told Age newspaper that closure of their local church forced them to “assess their spiritual connection.”

“It reminded us our faith is also our responsibility and not just the responsibility of the minister in our church,” she said. “We needed to be proactive in talking to God.”

According to McCrindle’s survey, 47% respondents said they had thought “more about their mortality and the meaning of life.”

“The research is showing that this COVID-19 situation has rattled Australians and got them thinking about the big purpose of life,” McCrindle said. “It’s got them re-prioritizing their life.”

McCrindle’s survey is corroborated by a study by National Church Life Survey showing “a third of Australians pray or meditate in normal times.”

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