College Millennials: What do they think of religion?

https://readthespirit.com/ourvalues/wp-content/uploads/sites/17/2013/03/wpid-0423_college_age_bible_study_grou.jpgA college Bible-study group uploaded recent photos into Flickr to encourage others. However, students with no religious affiliation comprise the fastest-growing segment in this age group.We know from yesterday’s post that material pursuits—jobs, to be exact—are foremost on the minds of college Millennials. But, what about spiritual concerns?

About one-fourth gives no religious affiliation, according to the just-released Millennial Values Survey. This proportion is greater than the proportion of “nones” in the general population. We’ve discussed the March of the Nones before—the trend for more and more people to select “none” when they are polled about their religion. The Millennial Values Survey, conducted by the Public Religion Research Institute and the Georgetown University Berkley Center, shows that college-age Americans are leading the march.

While college-age “nones” are the fastest growing segment, religiously affiliated Millennials are found among all major religious denominations, according to the survey. Twenty percent of all college Millennials are Catholic, 13% are white mainline Protestant, 12% are white evangelical Protestants, 10% are black Protestants, 10% are another kind of Protestant, and 6% are another religion.

What do college Millennials think about different religions? A majority (58%) says that Christianity is relevant to their lives, but they have mixed feelings about what they see as good and bad aspects of Christianity. While a large majority lauds Christianity’s good values and principles, an even larger majority says Christianity is too judgmental, anti-homosexual, and hypocritical.

College Millennials also report mixed sentiments about members of the Church of Latter-day Saints. When asked to describe Mormons in one or two words, the most common were “religious/faith/Christian” (15%), “cult/misguided” (9%), and “strange/different” (9%).

Young Americans have similarly mixed views of Islam and Muslims in America. About half say that “the values of Islam are at odds with American values and way of life” but about half disagree.

If you are a college-age Millennial, do these patterns fit you?

Why do you think we are seeing these patterns among Millennials?

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Originally published at www.OurValues.org, an online experiment in civil dialogue.

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