Much religious belief hinges on the idea that praying will result in protection and salvation. However, with the virus indiscriminately tearing through communities - whatever their spiritual views - this beliefs are being called into question.
Spreading patterns show that some of the most affected groups are the orthodox. As David Halbfinger reports in the New York Times, "Ultra-Orthodox Jews failing to comply with government instructions to contain the coronavirus are causing it to spread so quickly that Israeli officials are considering blockading entire communities to protect the wider population." In this case, viral clustering is proving that that religious beliefs have no bearing on whether people contract it or not.
Most religions believe that life is a test, and that the rewards for pious behaviour on Earth will be made clear in the afterlife. Therefore, the death rates in their communities are irrelevant. As the influential Christian charity the Barnabas Fund writes, "Pastor Tan Songhua, of Wuhan Fangjiaoshi Church, wrote a prayer letter to Chinese Christians, calling the coronavirus outbreak a “test of faith” for the Church in Wuhan. Now, as the pandemic spreads across Europe, Christians here are facing a similar test."
[P1] Religions believe in the power of prayer [P2] The religious are praying to be saved from the virus [P3] Religious people are being killed by the virus [P4] Prayer is shown to have no impact
Rejecting the premises
[Rejecting P1] Religions believe that life is a test