Millennials are less religious than their parents, but not less engaged
The United States has always been known for its rooted and diffused religious traditions. Nevertheless, new researches show that U.S. millennials are increasingly abandoning the religious practice.
Recently, a group of researchers, led by Dr. Jean Twenge, psychologist at San Diego State University, revealed that, in 2013, about 28 percent of American college students never went to church (almost a doubled percentage compared to previous generations).
The research also showed that this tendency was not homogeneous among students: it was greater among white people and young women. Researchers claim to have noticed a link between the increased individualism of contemporary society and the decline in religiosity.
“We found that religious involvement was low when individualism was high. Individualism can conflict with religion, especially as religion usually involves following certain rules and being part of a group,” Dr. Twenge said.
In contrast with this statement, Richard Flory, director of the Center for Religion and Civic Culture at University of Southern California, said that, even if individualism has increased, this is not to be considered a serious problem.
Young people, in fact, are searching alternatives to become socially invested, at the service of others. For example, some people worry about their civic and political engagement.
Flory explains that, for what concerns religious practices, millennials prefer a more active and involving model, rather than traditional methods.
Young people want to build a sense of community working at the same project, to feel motivated and united.