Technology overtakes print for believers in the US as more prefer accessing digital religious resources – Muslim Pro survey

by | Apr 12, 2021

Bitsmedia Muslim Pro survey US population religious apps
  • National survey investigates how Americans handled the coronavirus restrictions, with prayer, reading text and keeping the faith among ways of coping.
  • Muslim Pro pledges to help United States Muslims in their practice of Islam by continually innovating and introducing new app features.

More people prefer to go online or use a mobile app to read the Bible, Quran or other religious resources instead of using traditional print, according to a new survey of US  consumers commissioned by the popular religious and community app Muslim Pro.

The survey provides new insight into how religious communities across the United States have coped with the pandemic, which has significantly restricted the way people live and connect.

Other survey findings include:

  • While one third (34%) of religious Americans still prefer print to study religious text, 28% are  reading online and another 15% prefer to use a prayer or religious study app. Around 11%  say they prefer audio recordings. 
  • Muslims were the biggest users of technology with 46% of Muslim respondents who study  religious resources saying they preferred to read online, and 21% via an app.  • Keeping faith that things will get better, prayer and reading religious resources such as the  Quran, the Bible or Torah, helped people cope; while over one in ten (13%) said they  rediscovered their faith during the pandemic.
  • The impact of the pandemic has also brought many closer to their religious communities.  Nearly two thirds (63%) of people who believe in a religion said they had connected with their  faith groups more since the pandemic. This is especially true for Muslims in America, with  over four in ten (44%) saying they have needed their community more in the last year.

Zahariah Jupary, Head of Community at Muslim Pro, said: “The closure of many places of worship  and the rise in technology during the pandemic has had a significant impact on the way people  practice their faith. Times of crisis and disaster often bring people together but what is also evident  from the findings of the survey is that people are relying more on their faith communities, and it has  strengthened their resolve to find new ways to practice their faith, even when there hasn’t been a  physical place of worship for them to visit.” 

The survey coincides with the launch of Muslim Pro’s latest khatam feature on the app, in line with  Muslim Pro’s vision of empowering Muslims to strengthen their faith. This feature enables users to  complete reading the Quran in 30 days individually and in groups, allowing global Muslims to connect  with one another virtually through the mobile app, despite the distance between them. 

The research was conducted by Censuswide, with 1,033 respondents aged 16+ in the US between 29  March 2021 and 01 April 2021. The survey was conducted from a sample of US adults, with a  minimum of 50 from religious groups including Christianity, Islam, Buddhism and Hinduism.

Americans found different ways to cope with the COVID restrictions, according to the survey findings.  Half the participants (52%), regardless of whether they followed a religion or not, said that by far the  biggest driver keeping them going was having a positive attitude, while being able to connect with  family (48%) was another big factor in keeping their spirits up.

Nearly a third (32%) of those surveyed also used prayer to keep them going, and nearly two in ten  (17%) said reading from the Bible, Quran, Torah or other religious texts during the crisis helped them  cope. Another element that helped people get through lockdown restrictions was practising gratitude,  with 21% of participants saying that it helped to focus on the good things in life. 

Over one in ten (14%) also said they had re-connected with a religion and 8% said they had turned to  prayer for the first time since the pandemic began. Those who said they had turned to prayer for the  first time included 23% of Muslims surveyed, 12% of Hindu and 7% of Christian participants.

Ms Jupary said: “As we approach Ramadan in the middle of a pandemic that has separated many  families and friends, Muslims who want to complete the Quran during Ramadhan face additional  challenges. Reciting the Quran in Ramadan is a practice that Muslims believe gives spiritual benefits  to the person reading and finishing it through the month, but as the survey shows trying to keep track  of their progress is an issue for three in ten Muslims.”

The survey tracked Muslim Pro’s user trends, which have shown an increase since the COVID-19  pandemic started, said Ms Jupary. As such, the app had continually introduced new features to enrich  Muslims in their Islamic way of life. 

Muslim Pro’s new khatam feature also allows parts of the Quran to be assigned to group members to  read, as well to as nudge members to complete their readings. Achievement badges will be awarded  to users who complete parts of the Quran, which they can share on social media to encourage others  to khatam Quran. Muslim Pro has also designed its khatam feature with a purpose: to convert good  intention into positive action. For this Ramadan, Muslim Pro will partner with global and local charities  to raise funds for children’s education. Muslim Pro aims to reach 10,000 Quran completions over the  Ramadan period.

Muslim Pro has more than 100 million downloads in over 200 countries across users of all age ranges.  Download the Muslim Pro app or Muslim Pro’s khatam Quran feature here