Religion is a dynamic entity, just like culture, which ensures that its members intermingle and encounter each other on a regular basis. Since there are so many different sects in all the major religions, how the COVID-19 affects Christianity can be dissimilar in certain regions.
Christianity, without a doubt, has never existed in a vacuum from its context. For example, when the Christians lived under the Umayyad rule, they created the La Convivencia. This allowed them to have constructive dialogue and the opportunity to incorporate Arabic and Islamic culture where necessary.
More often than not, Christianity has always adopted from the existing culture and made it its own. This adaptability is beneficial to the religion because it always allowed it to prevail through anything.
COVID-19 and Christianity
During this tough time of the coronavirus pandemic, the church needs to continue to show resilience and flexibility. Social distancing has been recommended by the CDC and WHO, which means that services and communal gatherings must be halted, even in church.
During the first few days of the virus, churches across the globe continued their regular weekly services. At most, minor changes were prescribed, such as avoiding handshakes at the sign of peace or receiving the Host by hand instead of by mouth.
Such measures were switched out for halting all services altogether. Some priests had to resort to using private masses instead of the usual congregations on Sunday. Others have started to broadcast their sermons through social media and live streaming platforms. Christianity is still prevailing, despite this pandemic, but has changed its location.
Sadly, Easter 2020 was spent by Christians in their homes or safe spaces. The best part is that the Christian community has been able to come together in this crucial time to make sure that they don’t hurt someone else in the process.
Where do we go from here?
Coronavirus and Christianity may never go hand in hand, but the pandemic has given us the opportunity to attend church in a creative and new way. As long as the feeling of God’s love is imbued into our hearts, we will remain empowered even in the face of the pandemic.
The strong faith that Christians have had for centuries has allowed us to come out victorious even in the face of dangerous enemies and situations. Perhaps, it would be prudent to say that we shouldn’t let the virus make us fearful. Instead, we must use this opportunity to spend time learning more about His Will.
Pope Francis spoke in one of his latest sermons on March 27th about how embracing the cross means that you need to find the courage to embrace hardships too. According to the Pope, we need to abandon the eagerness we may have for possessions and power during this time so that we can be inspired by the Spirit’s creativity. This means that we need to create new safe spaces where Christians can come together with hospitality, solidarity, and fraternity.