Is it safe to celebrate Easter or Passover? It depends how religious you are

Three-quarters of adults (76%) who plan on attending religious services or family gatherings for either Easter or Passover this year expect they will be attending in person, according to the latest Economist/YouGov poll. One-quarter of those (24%) will attend virtual services. 

For some Americans, attending religious services appears safer than some other activities. One-quarter (27%) believe attending in-person religious services is safe to do now, compared to 22% who say it is currently safe to socialize with friends and 17% who say it is safe to go without a mask in public. Republicans are especially likely to consider it a safe time for religious services to be conducted (46%).  

In addition, the more religious a person is, the more likely one is to see religious services as something that can safely be done today. Two in five Americans who say religion is “very important” to them (40%) believe it is safe to attend in-person religious services now, compared to 28% of those who call religion “somewhat important.” Those who say religion is "not too important" (16%) or "not at all important" (12%) to them are even less likely to see religious attendance as a safe decision right now. 

While some look forward to celebrating this year, there are others who normally do attend Easter or Passover services who won’t be doing that in person this weekend. More than two in five Americans (43%) claim they usually attend Easter services (28%), Passover services (5%), or both (10%). But just under half of that group (47%) will do that this year – twice as many Republicans claim they will (62%), compared with Democrats (32%). 

See the toplines and crosstabs from this Economist/YouGov poll 

Methodology: The Economist survey was conducted by YouGov using a nationally representative sample of 1,500 US Adult Citizens interviewed online between March 27 - 30, 2021. This sample was weighted according to gender, age, race, and education based on the American Community Survey, conducted by the US Bureau of the Census, as well as 2016 Presidential vote, registration status, geographic region, and news interest. Respondents were selected from YouGov’s opt-in panel to be representative of all US citizens. The margin of error is approximately 2.9% for the overall sample  

Image: Getty