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“Covid-19 and religion: needs and answers from youth in Spanish catholic landscape”

The Catholic Church faces current needs in terms of youth engagement and leadership formation. These needs are rooted in the challenges and scenarios brought by the 21st century, which have been nothing but aggravated by the current Covid-19 pandemic and its circumstances of uncertainty and complexity. With this situation, religious institutions aim to improve and develop their resources and increase formation towards these initiatives and Religion has adapted to the Pandemic in innovative ways  (Campbell, 2020).


This investigation combines the research analyzing these crucial concepts in this specific field. On the one hand, young people represent the agents of youth ministry. For this reason, there is a need to address their concerns and issues with creativity, dynamism and audacity. These elements are the foundation of a strategy to reach them, mainly in the world of communication. Monitoring the interests as well as the youth situation on a global scale is no less than a challenge (World Youth Report, 2020).


The purpose of this research is then to map the different practises involving the world of youth and leadership in Catholic dioceses in Spain. Consequently, the results of both aim at highlighting the current everyday necessities that religious institutions, including religious orders, schools, independent movements and foundations, face in terms of these concepts, at the same time that they cultivate a better understanding of their reality, vision, beliefs and room for opportunities. Therefore, from the challenges some proposals emerge with the goal of comprehending their needs and finding answers within the Spanish catholic landscape, which currently is facing another critical situation with the Covid-19. 


How are religions approaching youth and leadership? In which initiatives are they involved? Which impact has the pandemic had on both areas? In order to achieve these answers, the research methodology followed a three-step process. Methodologically, we proceeded with a mapping of the online initiatives of each and every catholic dioceses in Spain, as well as related religious organisations. More than 300 initiatives have been targeted. Secondly, we moved to a qualitative realm; we organized two focus groups, one per each project, with those who were involved with the most relevant initiatives and parallelly we interviewed individually 23 key figures of the already analysed institutions aiming to get a deeper understanding of their activities and practises. Thirdly, we gathered quantitative information in the form of a survey that asked general questions on the topic. Also in depth interviews have been carried out.


Palabras clave

COVID-19 leadership Religión youth

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Los autores de la ponencia

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Silvia Pascual Fontanilles

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Adriana Chiva Polvillo

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