20-Somethings Less Concerned with Religious Institutions

September 25, 2006

Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel, the


On September 25, 2006 the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported, "Melanie Juli considers herself a committed Jew. But she doesn't keep kosher. Or observe the Sabbath. The college student has never had her bat mitzvah, a right of passage into adulthood. And she almost didn't join a religious club at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton because she thought members would press her to attend synagogue. 'It's not about going to church or temple,' said Juli, 22. 'It's about being a good person.' Is Juli a walking contradiction? Wishy-washy? Confused? Not if you ask many 20-somethings, studies show. Regardless of faith, today's young adults generally don't like attending traditional worship services, where their numbers are down. And they shy away from labels, increasingly identifying with no specific religion or, if they are Christian, calling themselves non-denominational. Yet in conversations and in academic surveys, Generations X and Y still demonstrate an overwhelming belief in God and an interest in how all things spiritual relate to their lives and the world around them, particularly since Sept. 11, 2001... About 80 percent of college students say they believe in God, according to a 2005 University of California study. But more than a third of adults 18 to 29 don't identify with one religion in particular, and another quarter classify themselves as nondenominational Christians, rather than identifying with a group like Baptist or Methodist, according to a 2001 American Religious Identification survey."