A major new survey of attitudes about religion shows that the “millenials” — those 18-29 years old — are leaving Christianity and calling themselves non-religious or religious unaffiliated in greater numbers than ever seen before. The Washington Post reports:
A growing tide of young Americans is drifting away from the religions of their childhood — and most of them are ending up in no religion at all.One in four young adults choose “unaffiliated” when asked about their religion, according to a new report from the Public Religion Research Institute and Georgetown University’s Berkley Center for Religion, Peace & World Affairs.
But most within this unaffiliated group — 55 percent — identified with a religious group when they were younger.
“These younger unaffiliated adults are very nonreligious,” said Daniel Cox, PRRI’s research director. “They demonstrate much lower levels of religiosity than we see in the general population,” including participation in religious rituals or worship services.
Some of them will return to their faiths as they age, “but there’s not a lot of evidence that most will come back,” added Cox, who said the trend away from organized religion dates back to the early 1990s.
This doesn’t mean they’re all atheists, of course. But it means they are leaving traditional Christianity behind. And that’s a good thing.