Being religious is no longer a trend for post-christian teens

According to Barna.com, Generation Z (people born between 1999 and 2015) are the “first truly ‘post-Christian’ generation.”

In fact, the number of teens who associate themselves with atheism is twice as much as the general population, according to Barna.

The decline in religion among teens is at a staggering 29% among 8th graders, 25% among high school sophomores, and 27% among high school seniors in 2010 — an average of a 12% decrease from 2000.

“My religion and faith is important to me, and it saddens me that people are straying away from the church,” said senior Kryztyna Hernandez, who considers herself a devout Catholic.

“I just wish there was something that I can do about it.”

On a web-based talk show “Living Waters,” Ray Comfort and his colleague recently discussed an email sent to them by a 14-year old freshman named Joe from Portland, Oregon.

Joe says that he is an atheist because he begged and cried for God to give him a sign that [God] was there but received nothing and that he felt free when he left the Mormon church because he was not on a predetermined path anymore.

About 13% of teens identify as atheist, which is double the population of adults who consider themselves atheist.

Others, according to Barna, say that the problem with the drop of religion in teens is the idea of evil and suffering and how it could exist if there is God who does no evil.

Barna also claims that political issues, like LGBTQ rights, poverty and immigration policy may also explain the decrease in religion in teens.

“Growing up in Lebanon in a Muslim family I was always taught that Allah was superior than all but as I grew older and went to college in the States, I realized that He couldn’t solve all my problems,” said a college student who does not want to be identified out of respect for her family.

“If he was really superior, He would be able to help me whenever I needed Him most and sadly he did not.”

There are also growing numbers of agnostics among the general population.

“As time progresses, I seem to find more and more solace in the absence of a god,” said Nicole Daniels, a teen from the “Living Waters” talk show who identifies as an agnostic atheist.

Sophomore Ella Altamirano from Walter Payton College Preparatory High School, who is also an agnostic atheist, says that she researched and discussed the topic and believes that it lines up with her beliefs.

In an Australian survey found on Conversation.com, half of the teens say that they do not identify with a religion, but many still find themselves being spiritual in other forms.

The forms of spirituality were then divided into six categories.

These spiritual people consider things like death and reincarnation or even something like a higher being (but not God).

“Everything is just a lot more complicated like ‘I’m religious but I don’t got to church’ or ‘I pray and am spiritual but I don’t believe in a god,” said senior Melissa Mancio, who was raised in a Catholic household.

“Religion and your faith isn’t black and white anymore; that’s why identifying as ‘religious’ is complicated.”

Teenagers are experiencing a pivotal moment in their lives, with many trying to find themselves. Continue reading

News category: Analysis and Comment.

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