Surprising Surge Of Young Americans Turn To Religion

The story of religious trends in America has been one of increasing disaffiliation among younger generations. But a new study reveals an unexpected resurgence of faith among youngsters in a post-Covid era. 

Some young adults had an awakening during Covid as the entire world crumbled around them. They were in search of a higher power to get through the government-forced lockdowns and controlled demolition of the economy, as well as watching loved ones and friends contract Covid-19 that some federal government agencies believe leaked from a Chinese lab.

As reported by the Wall Street Journal, a new study commissioned by Springtide Research Institute found about one-third of 18-to-25-year-olds believe in a higher power, up from one-quarter in 2021. The findings were based on polling data from December. 

Church leaders and young adults attribute the increase in faith to believing in a higher power during the Covid crisis: 

For many young people, the pandemic was the first crisis they faced. It affected everyone to some degree, from the loss of family and friends to uncertainty about jobs and daily life. In many ways, it aged young Americans and they are now turning to the same comfort previous generations have turned to during tragedies for healing and comfort. --WSJ 

Rev. Darryl Roberts, the pastor of the Nineteenth Street Baptist Church in Washington, D.C., said the pandemic, job loss, inflation, and increasing economic worries had left many young people feeling vulnerable and are turning to God for protection. 

"We are seeing an openness to transcendence among young people that we haven't seen for some time," said Abigail Visco Rusert, associate dean at Princeton Theological Seminary and an ordained pastor in the Presbyterian Church.

In Los Angeles, rabbi Nicole Guzik said more young adults are attending Friday night services at the synagogue than ever before. She said:

 "I think this demographic has a need to connect socially and spiritually." 

For many youngsters, the pandemic was the first crisis they've ever faced while in the workforce and without support from their parents. 

Believing in God "gives you a reason for living and some hope," said Becca Bell, an 18-year-old college student from Peosta, Iowa. 

Could the years of rising religious disaffiliation among Americans have finally hit a plateau?

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