Data Journalist

Over a third (37%) say it's okay to sometimes take pictures during prayer

Technology is everywhere, and for the religious, phones sometimes end up in the pews during a religious service or prayer. Some forward-facing churches develop apps to keep up with the needs of their ministries and attendees – but not all embrace the technology, as when Pope Francis chided Catholics for taking photos of him during liturgy. A poll conducted by YouGov found that three in ten Americans (30%) believe it’s “never okay” to take photos during a religious service.

YouGov Omnibus reveals that one in ten Americans (10%) believe that it’s “always fine” to take photos at a place of worship and many (37%) think it’s “okay” depending on the situation.

Men and women view the issue slightly differently. Some men think that photography during worship is “okay in certain circumstances” (37%) and slightly more than average believe that it’s “always fine” (14%). Women (35%) are ten points more likely than men (25%) to believe that there’s no time that would make picture-taking acceptable during worship.

Age may factor into one’s opinion on the matter. Young to middle-aged Americans (18-44) report lower than average rates when it comes to photography “never [being] okay” during a religious service. The very same group happens to also be the most likely to admit that they’re “not sure” what to think of the issue.

Americans over the age of 55 are divided on the issue. Over a third of the age group (36%) believe that taking a picture during worship is “never okay” and an equal amount (36%) say there might be situations where it’s “okay”. Few (8%) believe that snapping a picture in the middle of prayer is “always fine”.

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