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Religion and the Transmission of COVID-19 in The Netherlands

Faculty of Philosophy, Theology and Religious Studies, Radboud University, P.O. Box 9103, 6500 HD Nijmegen, The Netherlands
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Religions 2020, 11(8), 393; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel11080393
Received: 8 July 2020 / Revised: 26 July 2020 / Accepted: 28 July 2020 / Published: 31 July 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Religions and Health/Psychology/Social Sciences)
The aim of this study was to find out if the typical spread of hospitalized patients with COVID-19 in The Netherlands, with significantly higher levels in the Dutch Bible belt and the southern, traditionally Catholic provinces, is related to the specific religious composition of the country. To do this, government statistics regarding the level of hospitalized patients with COVID-19 per municipality were combined with statistics regarding church attendance and church membership rates. Results showed that in the Dutch Bible belt the level of patients with COVID-19 was strongly related to church attendance, but in the southern, traditionally Catholic part of The Netherlands nominal church membership mattered more than church attendance. On the basis of these findings, the conclusion was drawn that religion probably facilitates the spread of the virus in both a direct and indirect way. It facilitates the spread of the virus directly through worship services but also indirectly by way of endorsing more general cultural festivities like carnival and maybe even by strengthening certain non-religious social bonds. Epidemiologists monitoring the spread of the virus are called upon to focus more on these possible indirect or latent effects of religion. View Full-Text
Keywords: COVID-19; church attendance; church membership; The Netherlands COVID-19; church attendance; church membership; The Netherlands
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MDPI and ACS Style

Vermeer, P.; Kregting, J. Religion and the Transmission of COVID-19 in The Netherlands. Religions 2020, 11, 393. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel11080393

AMA Style

Vermeer P, Kregting J. Religion and the Transmission of COVID-19 in The Netherlands. Religions. 2020; 11(8):393. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel11080393

Chicago/Turabian Style

Vermeer, Paul, and Joris Kregting. 2020. "Religion and the Transmission of COVID-19 in The Netherlands" Religions 11, no. 8: 393. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel11080393

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