17 Reasons Why Millennials Have a Problem with Religion

Every generation has those who become disillusioned with religion at some point in their lives. But millennials stand out for having more of a problem with religion than their predecessors—generation X and baby boomers. Here are 17 reasons why this is the case.

Disillusionment with Organized Religion

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Despite many millennials being interested in religion or spirituality, a large portion have become disillusioned with organized religion. According to the Jacksonville Journal-Courier, fewer and fewer millennials are choosing to attend church. Millennials also often perceive there to be too strong of a link between politics and religion, especially when it comes to Christianity.

The Influence of Consumer Capitalism

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The growing influence of consumer capitalism has provided millennials with a newfound sense of choice when it comes to religion and spirituality. Instead of feeling as though they must pick and stick to only one religion, more millennials are deciding to choose different aspects of different religions and types of spirituality.

Analysis Paralysis and Religious Choice

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Another consequence of millennials’ exposure to such a wide array of religious choices is that they sometimes become overwhelmed by all the options. As a result, they are more reluctant to commit to just one religion.

Seeking Authenticity and Relevance

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Most religions are rooted in ancient scripture, and a significant number of millennials feel that this fact means that they’re becoming less applicable to modern life. Millennials are also increasingly seeking a sense of authenticity that often seems to conflict with strict rules set by some religions.

Interfaith Relationships and Secular Worldviews

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As society becomes more open-minded and inclusive, it’s increasingly common for individuals of different backgrounds and faiths to enter into romantic relationships. For many millennials, this reinforces their secular perspective on religion, making them less likely to commit to organized religion.

Parental Influence and Upbringing

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As noted by the Pew Research Center, it’s a fact that our society has become less and less religious over time. As such, a significant portion of millennials were raised in nonreligious or less strictly religious households. These individuals are naturally less likely to see religion as a core part of their identity.

Online Dating and Secular Partnerships

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You may be confused as to what online dating has to do with the prevalence of religion. However, it makes sense when you consider the large number of millennials finding friends and partners of different faiths and backgrounds using social apps and websites. This exposure to a wide variety of religions causes people to be less likely to firmly identify with a single religion.

Skepticism Toward Religious Morality

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Millennials are more skeptical about religion than their predecessors. The rise of the internet and their exposure to many different schools of thought have caused many millennials to question the role of religion in their lives.

Raising Children Without Religion

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As millennials become more doubtful about the morality of religion and its place in modern society, they’re also starting to question the morality of raising their kids to follow a specific faith. Many millennials believe it’s unethical to force children into one specific religious perspective, preferring to let them decide for themselves.

Political and Social Identity

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It’s an unfortunate reality that religious identity has become overly politicized in recent times. As a result, some millennials have been put off by some of the political messaging now associated with Christianity and some other religions.

Embracing Spiritual but Not Religious Identities

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According to UVA Today, many millennials now prefer to identify as spiritual rather than religious. This trend reflects the shift toward individualism, which has spilled over into people’s religious and spiritual identification.

Impact of Technology and Social Media

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The rising influence of the internet and social media has given us more access to a wide range of perspectives on religion and spirituality. As a result, more millennials have been influenced by arguments about the downsides of religion and the benefits of other spiritual identities.

Desire for Inclusivity and Diversity

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Overall, millennials tend to value diversity and inclusivity in many aspects of life. Because of this, a large portion of this generation has become disillusioned with strict forms of religion, which they often see as closed-minded and unaccepting of differences.

Environmental and Social Justice Concerns

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Environmental and social justice concerns have become increasingly pressing for our latest generations. As a result, many millennials are opting to align themselves with spiritual identities that better complement these causes.

Flexibility and Non-Commitment

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Whether you see it as a positive or negative trait, millennials are more flexible and non-committal when it comes to their religious and spiritual preferences than their predecessors. Because of this, they often have issues with religions that involve strict rules and doctrines.

Reaction to Religious Dogmatism

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Millennials are often turned off by the perception of religious dogmatism and intolerance. This is especially true when it comes to organized religion, which frequently drives away millennials who perceive it as closed-minded and non-inclusive.

Economic Factors and Practical Concerns

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Finally, some millennials simply don’t think the pursuit of religion is worth the time, effort, and money it often involves. This generation is increasingly prioritizing other aspects of life, such as their careers or educational goals, over their faith. As stated by the Global Center for Religious Research, this often makes it practical for millennials to prioritize religion later in life.

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