Ministry Today – Serving and empowering church leaders

Americans between the ages of 18 and 29 are significantly less likely to be affiliated with religious organizations or identify themselves with a particular denomination, according to a new study from The Pew Forum.

One in four members of the Millennial generation are unaffiliated with any faith. That's notably less religious involvement than Generation X (20 percent in the late 1990s) and the baby boomer generation (13 percent in the late 1970s) had at comparable life stages. The statistics reflect the decision of many 20-somethings to leave the faith of their parents without becoming involved in a new faith. Nearly 18 percent of adults under the age of 30 that grew up with a religious upbringing have left it.

However, the study found that Millennials who are affiliated with a religion have just as much intensity in their faith than previous generations—and in some cases more. More than one third (37 percent) of Millennials who identify with a religion say they are "strong" members of their faith. That matches the percentage of Gen Xers who said the same thing at their age, and is higher than the number of baby boomers (31 percent) who said they were "strong" members. [pewforum.org, 2/17/10]

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