Some recent headlines:
- December 15: “Why millennials are leaving religion but embracing spirituality”
- December 14: “Growing number of Millennials shun religion”
- December 13: “Millennials and religion: The great disconnect”
- December 9: “Millennials less likely to be religious than older Americans”
This certainly sounds bad. Why the recent flurry of these stories? Well, all of them reference a recent survey by the Pew Research Center. By “recent,” I mean it was published November 3. So more than a month ago.
There is a real trend of religious decline among Millennials. As the Pew study notes,
The share of older Millennials who say they seldom or never attend religious services has risen by 9 percentage points. And the share of older Millennials who say they seldom or never pray has risen by 6 points, as has the share who say religion is “not too” or “not at all” important in their lives.
However, I suspect the appeal of these news stories, published long after the survey they are based on, is that they tap into the fears of older generations that they are “losing the youth.” The reality is a bit more varied — and hopeful — to me. (more…)