Teenagers today are the most non-Christian generation in American history as only four out of 100 teens hold a true biblical worldview and one out of every eight teens identify as non-heterosexual, a new survey released by one of the nation’s leading evangelical polling firms has found.
The Barna Group announced Tuesday the findings from its new research project, “Gen Z: The Culture, Beliefs and Motivations Shaping the Next Generation,” sponsored by the Georgia-based Impact 360 Institute.
Barna’s research discovered that more teens today who are part of Generation Z (born from 1999 to 2015) identify 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).
“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.”
For the project, Barna conducted a total of four focus groups with U.S. teenagers between the ages of 14 and 17 and also conducted two nationally representative surveys that included responses from a total of 1,997 teens throughout the United States.
The first survey, conducted between Nov. 4- 16, 2016, interviewed 1,490 teens ages 13 to 18. The second survey was conducted on July 7-18, 2017, and interviewed 507 teens between the ages of 13 to 18. The data from both surveys were minimally weighted to U.S. Census data in order to be representative of ethnicity, gender, age and region.
The research also found that just 59 percent Generation Z teens considered themselves Christian or Catholic. By comparison, 65 percent of millennials and Generation X and 75 percent of Baby Boomers identified as some form of Christian.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Samuel Smith