Original Research - Special Collection: Faith Seeking Understanding

The relationship between religious beliefs and coping with the stress of COVID-19

Aleksandr Petrov, Andrey Poltarykhin, Natalia Alekhina, Sergey Nikiforov, Sarbinaz Gayazova
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 77, No 1 | a6487 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v77i1.6487 | © 2021 Aleksandr Petrov, Andrey Poltarykhin, Natalia Alekhina, Sergey Nikiforov, Sarbinaz Gayazova | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 19 January 2021 | Published: 28 October 2021

About the author(s)

Aleksandr Petrov, Financial University under the Government of the Russian Federation, Moscow, Russian Federation, Russian Federation
Andrey Poltarykhin, Plekhanov Russian University of Economics, Moscow, Russian Federation; Dean’s Office, Faculty of Theology and Religion, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa
Natalia Alekhina, Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University, Moscow, Russian Federation; Dean’s Office, Faculty of Theology and Religion, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa
Sergey Nikiforov, Southwest State University, Kursk, Russian Federation; Dean’s Office, Faculty of Theology and Religion, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa
Sarbinaz Gayazova, Kazan State Medical University, Kazan, Russian Federation


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Abstract

Recently, we have faced the outbreak of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the world, which has attracted the attention of all people. Stress has become a word familiar to all people. The stressors of life are relatively clear and some of them cannot be eliminated by humans. One of the stressors in the life of humans is the COVID-19 pandemic. Doctors believe that the virus is controllable but its prevalence is quicker and deadlier than other viruses. In addition, the virus puts the elderly and those with underlying diseases (e.g. pulmonary problems) at extreme risk. Therefore, more care is seriously required to protect members of society. However, this psychological imbalance caused by the virus is associated with stress and anxiety. Lack of proper management of this stress will be associated with emotional impacts (e.g. depression and anxiety), physiological impacts (e.g. gastrointestinal disorders and increased heart rate), cognitive impacts (e.g. reduced concentration and distraction) and behavioural impact (e.g. increased work and activity avoidance, and sleep disorders).

Contribution: Given the importance of this topic, this study aimed to evaluate the relationship between religious beliefs and coping with COVID-19-related stress amongst Muslim students in three cities of Russia – Ingushetia, Chechnya and the Republic of Dagestan – in 2020. Data were collected using questionnaires, the validity and reliability of which were previously confirmed. According to the results, religious beliefs had an impact on stress coping by p = 0.657. In other words, students’ ability to cope with stress improved by 0.657 units, with each unit of enhancement in their religious beliefs.


Keywords

religion; religious beliefs; Islam; coping with stress; COVID-19; Russia

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Crossref Citations

1. COVID-19 and two sides of the coin of religiosity
Sergei V. Kolganov, Balachandran Vadivel, Mark Treve, Dono Kalandarova, Natalia V. Fedorova
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies  vol: 78  issue: 4  year: 2022  
doi: 10.4102/hts.v78i4.7681