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How Faith Leaders — And Their Congregations — Have Fared During COVID

COVID-19 has been a challenge for faith leaders across the world -- and the Charlotte area was no exception.
Michael Heuss
COVID-19 has been a challenge for faith leaders across the world -- and the Charlotte area was no exception.

Thursday, March 25, 2021

More people are receiving their COVID-19 vaccines in North Carolina every day.

As of March 17, 27.5% of those 18 and up were at least partially vaccinated, and 16.5% of those 18 and up were fully vaccinated. Clergy membersare one of the many groups eligible to be vaccinated. As more people receive that vaccine and signs of normalcy appear on the horizon, we ask our local faith leaders:How have you been doing throughout the year?

According to a study from Lifeway Research, 91% of 1,000 churchgoing American protestants said they planned on returning to in-person worship when it was safe to do so. In this same survey, 83% said they watched church services online.

With restrictions continuing to ease, we'll ask our faith leaders about their plans for the near future. We'll also ask how they've continued to keep their congregations' spirits high while worshiping from a distance, whether they have assisted with easing vaccine hesitancy, and how they have implemented health and safety education to their congregations and communities.


John Ederer, imam and religious director at Muslim Community Center Charlotte

Rodney B. Freeman, pastor at Mt. Zion Restoration Church

Asher Knight, senior rabbi of Temple Beth El

Yonat Shimron, national reporter and senior editor for Religion News Service

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Dante Miller is a community engagement producer for WFAE and a Report for America (RFA) Corps members. Dante first joined WFAE in 2020 through RFA to work as part of a unique partnership with the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library and Digital Public Library of America. Her work in that project allowed her to use radio, online stories, Wikipedia entries and events to meet the community's news and information needs.