Coping with the pandemic caused by the SARS-COV- 2 has been a global challenge. To this end, several measures have been adopted to control the transmission of the disease and to ensure public safety. One factor that has greatly affected the community’s behaviors, attitudes, and practices in Palestine has been religious beliefs.
This study aims to investigate the role of religion as a factor in adherence to the COVID-19 medical directives in Palestine.
A descriptive cross-sectional study was performed from August to October 2021. In this study, 1,353 participants were asked to complete a questionnaire that consisted of 20 items that measured the impact of religious beliefs and the role played by religious scholars in the promotion and application of medically-approved health directives and the rectification of COVID-19 related information. The data were analyzed by using SPSS version 22 software.
More than 50% of the participants agreed that religion has a positive impact on community adherence to the health instructions in the majority of studied items. The responses were significantly variable based on the age and place of residence in most of the questions (p-value < 0.05). However, gender and to a lesser extent, the level of education affected the responses to many research aspects less significantly.
Religion could be an effective tool in dealing with challenging health issues such as COVID-19. Intervention programs can be developed based on the community’s religious beliefs, attitudes, and practices, to dispel myths regarding the disease and to encourage community commitment and adherence to health directives.