A new report shows that a large number of Americans are leaving church over their dissatisfaction with religion.
A new survey coming from the Survey Center on American Life of the American Enterprise Institute has found that Generation Z or Gen Z is now the least religious generation, with about one-third or 34% identifying as religiously unaffiliated. This is compared to 29% of Millennials, 25% of Gen X, 18 % of boomers, and 8% of the silent generation.
The survey titled "Generation Z and the Future of Faith in America" shows just how the younger generations of today have a widely different religious and social experience from their predecessors, a fact that Daniel A. Cox, a senior fellow in polling and public opinion at the American Enterprise Institute, has recognized.
"Young adults today have had entirely different religious and social experiences than previous generations did," Cox said, as per the Christian Headlines. "The parents of millennials and Generation Z did less to encourage regular participation in formal worship services and model religious behaviors in their children than had previous generations."
Cox added, "Many childhood religious activities that were once common, such as saying grace, have become more of the exception than the norm." He also pointed out that since the advent of measuring religious commitment, "childhood religious experiences have strongly predicted adult religiosity."
Cox, who is also the director of the Survey Center on American Life, cuted Proverbs 22:6t, which speaks of training a child on the "way he should go" so that when he grows older, he would "not depart from it." Conversely, those who group up with religiously unaffiliated parents or peers will more likely remain religiously unaffiliated in their adulthood.
Meanwhile, Cox reported that 65% of Americans who said they have no childhood religious affiliation also said that as adults, they remain unaffiliated, compared to those with established religious traditions.
The reason behind this is a breach of trust, the Christian Post reported. Gallup research has found that in the last two decades, trust and confidence in organized religion has dramatically decreased. In 2021, only 37% of the surveyed public said they have a great deal or quite a lot of confidence in religious institutions. This is a major decline since 2001, when 60% felt that they were confident in religious institutions.
The Gallup research also found that 35% of Americans believed that overall, religion causes more harm than good. Among those who said they were unaffiliated but were raised in religious homes, up to 69% said that religion causes problems more than it provides solutions. Similarly, among those who have always been religiously unaffiliated, 63% believe that religion causes more problems in society than solves them.
Meanwhile, more than half of Americans surveyed said that raising children with religion is a benefit. However, a majority or 82% of those religiously unaffiliated disagreed on seeing a benefit of raising children with religion. Among Gen Z, only 40% said that raising children with religion is a good thing.