An amazing study that was released last month from the Berkley Center and the Public Religion Research Institute has a full study on “how 18-24 year-olds view faith, values, and the 2012 election. The survey of 2,000 college-age Millennials provides new insights about the moral and religious values that animate young adults, and how these values impact their voting preferences and views on a range of issues including religious pluralism, social and economic inequality, immigration, and issues of race and gender. The survey also provides clues about what young people think about important political figures and political movements of the day.”
For those of us that do youth ministry, the whole document should be reviewed, particularly the sixth section Religious and Ethnic Pluralism and the seventh section on Religious Beliefs, Practices, and Identity. You can look at the full text of it here (PDF), but we will summarize parts that we found scary, yet insightful.
- 1 in 4 young adults choose “unaffiliated” when asked about their religion
- Of all of the religious sections, including Catholic, mainline Protestants, and unaffiliated, the only section to grow with any statistical relevancy is unaffiliated
- Catholicism saw an 8% drop and white mainline Protestant 5%
- 45% of college students at a religious college are attending worship weekly, whereas 13% of private college students and 21% of public college students are attending weekly.
- 22% of students say God is impersonal and 14% do not believe in God.
- 82% of religiously unaffiliated students and 67% of non-Christians said abortion should be legal all the time while more than 3/4 of Protestants said it should be illegal in some or all cases.
- 59% of all Millennials, regardless of religious affiliation said that same-sex marriage is okay.
If we have been in youth ministry any number of years, we need to be highly aware of these statistics.
For those that have been in youth ministry long, does this resonate?