The CAP Faith Team’s Coronavirus Resources

Analysis and Commentary on the Role of Religion and Faith Communities During the Pandemic

A volunteer prepares for a livestream of Easter Sunday Mass at Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic Church on April 11, 2020, in South Orange, New Jersey.

The Faith and Progressive Policy Initiative at the Center for American Progress has monitored the role of religion and faith communities during the coronavirus crisis. This includes conducting policy analysis of religious exemptions to public health orders and amplifying the positive role played by faith leaders in flattening the curve of the pandemic. Here are some of the Faith Initiative’s top coronavirus-related resources.

Public health guidance for houses of worship

The Trump administration prevented the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from issuing detailed public health guidance specifically for houses of worship, leaving faith communities to navigate pandemic-related challenges on their own. In the absence of national leadership, CAP issued guidance to advise houses of worship on how best to adapt in-person activities and rituals in order to reduce risk to their congregants and surrounding communities.

Religious exemptions and COVID-19

As states issued stay-at-home orders and bans on mass gatherings, almost half included specific exemptions for religious communities. The Trump administration made repeated gestures of support for these exemptions, despite the mounting evidence that continuing in-person gatherings of faith communities would place congregants at significant risk. CAP conducted analyses of these religious exemptions and what is behind this conservative campaign to misuse religious freedom.

#StayHomeStayHoly Campaign

Despite religious exemptions to coronavirus-related orders, the vast majority of faith communities chose to follow clear public health guidance. As several major religious holidays approached, CAP launched the #StayHomeStayHoly social media campaign to encourage people of faith to commit to continuing to follow public health guidance while observing their holidays.

  • The #StayHomeStayHoly Pledge
    CAP’s Faith and Progressive Policy Initiative launched this pledge along with its social media campaign to invite faith communities to engage in their regular worship in ways that are in accordance with public health guidance. 

To find the latest CAP resources on the coronavirus, visit our coronavirus resource page.