Generation Z More Atheistic Than other Age Groups

Gen Z

The Barna Group, an evangelical Christian polling firm based in Ventura, California, released a survey: "Gen Z: The Culture, Beliefs and Motivations Shaping the Next Generation." The researchers found out that teenagers today are the most non-Christian generation in American history as only four out of 100 teens hold a true biblical worldview. Also, the study shows that one out of every eight teens identify as non-heterosexual. Those teenagers belong to the so-called Generation Z (born from 1999-2015) and they are more and more identifying themselves as agnostic, atheist or not religiously affiliated.

The study indicates that 35 percent of Generation Z teens considered themselves to be atheist, agnostic or not affiliated with any religion. By comparison, only 30 percent of millenials, 30 percent of Generation X and 26 percent of Baby Boomers said the same.

The study shows that almost twice as many teens in Generation Z (13 percent) claimed to be atheist than millenials (7 percent).

Most of Generation Z have used the Internet since a young age, and they are generally comfortable with technology and with interacting on social media. That is maybe one of the reasons for such results of the study. A study published in the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion shows the more people use the internet, the less likely they are to have a specific religious affiliation.

"The percentage of people whose beliefs qualify them for a biblical worldview declines in each successively younger generation: 10 percent of Boomers, 7 percent of Gen X and 6 percent of Millennials have a biblical worldview, compared to only 4 percent of Gen Z," the study explains.

"Gen Z is different because they have grown up in a post-Christian, post-modern environment where many of them have not even been exposed to Christianity or to church. So that is a really unique shift," Brooke Hempell, Barna's senior vice president of research, said during the survey's rollout event at Grace Midtown Church in Atlanta.

"There are a lot of churches that are empty in this country. Gen Z is the one who is really showing the fruit of that. There are many of them [who] are a spiritual blank slate. For the first time in our nation's history, that is more and more common."

According to a 2017 review in Business Insider, American members of Generation Z — defined as those born between 1998 and 2016 — have comparable rates of supporting same-sex marriage, climate change, environmental issues, and diversity to American millennial; but they differ from Millennials in that they exhibit less optimism. It can be said that this generation of teenagers is more rational, more realistic in expectations, and more tolerant because it is not so burdened by religion.

Photo Credits: HR Technologist

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