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Sac State students keep their faith alive during the pandemic

Since the pandemic shut down in-person religious services because of Covid-19, students at Sac State are finding new ways to worship, through online live streaming.

Going to church from home is the new normal since March 21, when California had the first shutdown order. Since then, churches had a mix of online services, limited members inside churches or outdoors gatherings on parking lots. But worship through a screen is the choice for most students.

Ally Baker, an American Sign Language major is one of them. Baker, who is Jewish, has always been involved in her synagogue. Now with services exclusively online, she feels she participates even more.

“It’s much easier to go, I can just sit and watch,” Baker said. “These are struggling times, so we are looking for something to give us hope.”

Attendance to religious service didn’t decrease when churches had to close. According to a Pew Research Center survey, religious faith has become stronger for 24% of the population, as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. Only 2% got weaker and 47% experienced no changes at all.

Aniya Kelly, a philosophy major, is one example. She was already used to watch the services from her Baptist church through YouTube before the pandemic. Now that the church is closed and online worship is the only option, she still does that faithfully. Kelly enjoys watching the choir singing on live stream.

“My faith has a very significant role in my life and what I believe,” she said.

For Maggie Yang, 21, a child development major, it’s not just about participating or attending services. Sharing her faith has a spiritual aspect that draws her closer to God. On campus, Yang would invite students to join her and other members of the Dream Christian club to the weekly 20-minutes Bible talk around a table or on the grass. With the campus closed, Zoom is what keeps them together and she still invites people whatever she can – inside a store or other public places she may go. People now are more open to study the Bible and have a relationship with God, according to her.

“With pandemic or no pandemic, we keep going. Quarantine didn’t change that,” Yang said.

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