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Majority of Americans favor restrictions on in-person religious services: poll

Majority of Americans favor restrictions on in-person religious services: poll
© BRIDGET BENNETT/AFP via Getty Images

Most Americans in a new poll by The University of Chicago Divinity School and The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research support restrictions on in-person religious gatherings.

The poll shows only 9 percent of respondents think in-person religious services should be permitted without any restrictions. Forty-two percent think they should be allowed with some restrictions and 48 percent think they should not be allowed at all.

Even among the respondents who identified as religious, 45 percent said in-person services shouldn’t be allowed at all. However, among white evangelical Protestants, only 35 percent believe they should be prohibited, with 46 percent saying that they think prohibiting those services violates religious freedom provisions of the Constitution.

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The AP-NORC poll surveyed 1,002 adults from April 30 through May 4 and reported a margin of error of 4.2 percentage points. 

The issue of whether states should impose restrictions on religious services has been controversial. 

Several pastors across the country have resisted calls to close, with one Illinois pastor suing Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) over the state’s coronavirus stay-at-home order.