2018 New You Beauty Awards - Powered by OmegaXL

Are Millennials Religious?

By Lauren Ford
Posted On Mar 25, 2016
Are Millennials Religious?

According to a recent study by San Diego State University psychology professor Jean M. Twenge, 2014 marked the least spiritual year in the U.S since the 70’s. This data was taken from the General Social Survey conducted between 1972 and 2014 with some 58,893 participants. Participants were asked about their religious affiliation, how strongly they felt connected with that religion, how often they actually went to services, how frequently they prayed, whether they identified as “spiritual,” and if they believed in an afterlife.

Results showed a major drop in spirituality starting in the early 2000’s continuing until 2014 in the age brackets of 18-29. “By 2014, American adults were less likely to pray, believe in God, identify as religious, attend religious services, or believe the Bible was the word of God than they were in previous decades,” the study authors write.

But here’s the thing, a decline in religion isn’t mutually exclusive with a decline in spirituality. To say that the millennial generation is less spiritual because they are less religious is a complete oversight on what spirituality actually is.

We conducted our own little office poll and found that although we do not practice or feel connected to our religious affiliations, we still consider ourselves spiritual. Although we aren’t going to a sacred space each week to pray and practice our religions, we are still praying daily to our God. Welcome to the new age of spirituality.

We know there is something greater than ourselves out there. We look inwards to find the meaning of life and our own life’s purpose. We are meditating. We are practicing yoga.  We are becoming more conscious of the world around us and the many problems that face humanity. We are giving back. We are loving. We are caring. We are spiritual.

So yes, Twenge’s findings are correct in the fact that millennials aren’t identifying as religious, attending religious services, or reading the Bible like previous generations. But as a millennial, I’d like to offer a different perspective on spirituality, which includes praying to a higher power, nourishing our souls, enlightening our lives, and giving back to the community, which sounds a lot like religion to me.