Crisis in faith: Why are so many young people abandoning religion?


Lily Dumas

This is a photo of Coram Deo Bible Church early in the morning.

Alyssa Smith, Social Media Manager

Young people across the globe are experiencing a crisis in faith. For many, the connection between them and a higher being is fading away. 

As young people continue to mature, many begin to question their beliefs. As young people grow up their schedules begin to fill and there is little time left for religious ceremonies. Even once their schedules clear, many are no longer finding the need to return to religion. 

When the holidays roll around, some try to rekindle their faith by attending religious ceremonies, only to feel judged and unwanted. In Christianity, specifically, those who only attend Easter and Christmas services are called Chreasters. This leaves behind the stigma that only those who attend services regularly are good Christians. 

Actions like that instill a mind set that only those who follow every religious rule and attend every ceremony are practicing their religion correctly. What is a good Christian? What is a good Buddhist? What is a good Muslim? Is there such a thing? 

Senior Arsh Manazir no longer considers himself religious. “Young people oftentimes do not want to blindly accept ideas, and want to discover their own path and beliefs. They have also seen the hatred and negatives that religion can cause,” he said. A lot of millennials and members of Gen Z no longer feel the need to be a part of organized religion. 

These two generations have a fiery desire for truth and are constantly fighting for what is right. They have found that the “gospel truth” is so far from what they consider to be true. 31% of non-christian Millennials and 23% of Gen-Z do not practice Christianity because they consider Christians hypocrites.

Young people have watched members of their church preach concepts such as“love thy neighbor” and “to be good and do good,” only to watch these same members turn around and do the opposite. 

They are taught to love thy neighbor until that neighbor is a part of the LGBTQ+ community. They are taught to love thy neighbor until that neighbor receives an abortion. After witnessing hypocrisy in their religion, many young people are left in the midst of a faith crisis. 

The hypocrisy creates a moral dilemma for young people between what their religion says is right and what they feel in their hearts is right. Many are letting their hearts win and leaving their churches. 

Even someone who is an active member of a church can understand why many have mixed emotions. Senior Lily Dumas is a proud member of a Christian church. “I think that over the years there has been a huge misrepresentation of what Christianity is. Actions, especially those of someone who claims to be a Christian, can affect how others see religion,¨ she said. 

Religion no longer has to define who someone is and what they believe. Less than 50% of people say religion is very important to them. Organized religion often leaves people feeling stuck and constricted. It is becoming more normalized to believe in higher power in a more abstract way. 27% of people say they never attend religious services compared to 18 percent in the early 2000’s. Many find their own ways to practice religion and believe in their god. 

Too many fail to realize that everyone deserves to practice religion how they please. When members of one’s religion become judgemental, they create a hostile environment that keeps people away. 

Thankfully, not every religious community becomes toxic and many young people have an active faith life. “My faith life has become extremely important in my life these past few years. I make decisions from a biblical standpoint and have a firm foundation in my beliefs,” Dumas said. 

Young people are realizing that so much life and love exists beyond religion, questioning beliefs is becoming normalized and, with that, so is abandoning religion.