• Ayesha Dhall

Young people are generally less religious affiliated

Updated: Jan 19, 2020

I am a young adult and as I am becoming more aware of my religious identity, I am also beginning to realise that it plays almost no part in the lives of several young adults like me.

As part of my research project, I began with the hypothesis "Younger people have lower religious engagement than older people." Using regression analysis of data on television viewing of religious channels, I validated my hypothesis. The significant changes in behavior take place after 50 years of age as per this analysis.

I spoke to religious scholars and leaders regarding the reasons for this. Most of them said it is natural, since younger people are more pre-occupied with studies, earning a livelihood and family responsibilities. A Pew research article on this subject for 106 countries, has some interesting insights. Young adults in less than half the countries (46 countries) have lower religious affiliation, in 65 countries, they have the same or higher religious affiliation than older people.

There are three regions which make up a large part of the 65 countries, Sub-saharan Africa, Middle-east and North Africa and Asia-pacific. One of the underlying reasons for higher religious affiliation in the above mentioned regions among younger people is violent conflict. That does justify the increased religious affiliation of younger people in countries in Africa and Middle East, but does not explain Asia-Pacific entirely. Good analysis nevertheless, something to analyze further!

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