(RNS) — Giving to congregations has shifted upward after churches closed their buildings earlier this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, a survey shows.

The new State of the Plate research finds that close to two-thirds (64%) of churches across the country reported in August that giving is either up (22%) or steady (42%). By contrast, in April, a similar share of churches (65%) said they had seen a drop in giving.

“This is encouraging news for churches across America,” said Brian Kluth, a former pastor who is now national spokesperson for the National Association of Evangelicals’ Financial Health initiative. “These new findings show that most churches and their families are figuring out ways to survive and even thrive in the midst of all the

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