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What Young Adults in 100 Countries Think of Religion

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Despite age gaps, Pew Research uncovers a few places where the next generation is actually more devout than their parents and grandparents.

Despite concerns about secularization, the world’s population may not be losing its religion quite so fast.

Like in the US, young adults around the globe are generally less devout than their elders, especially in Western Europe and Latin America; however, in other regions, many countries have resisted that trend, welcoming new generations of just-as-eager Christians and Muslim believers, according to a Pew Research Center report released today.

Of the 106 countries in the report, more than half (58 nations) show little or no age gap in religious commitment. In the rest (46 nations), adults under 40 were significantly less likely than their elders to consider religion very important.

Particularly religious countries with higher population growth tend to maintain religious belief and commitment between young and old generations. Pew found that over the past decade these highly religious countries outpaced their less religious counterparts due to high fertility rates and disproportionately young populations, factors often tied to their level of development.

Biggest age gaps

Worldwide, 90 percent of adults over the age of 40 affiliate with a religious tradition, compared to 85 percent of those under 40, Pew reported.

“Although the age gap in religious commitment is larger in some nations than in others, it occurs in many different economic and social contexts,” the researchers wrote, “in developing countries as well as advanced industrial economies, in Muslim-majority nations as well as predominantly Christian states, and in societies that are, overall, highly religious as well as those that are comparatively secular.”

In North America and Western Europe, where secularization has accelerated the most, …

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Source: Christianity Today Magazine

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