Generation Xers Find More Personal Faith

January 14, 2001

Source: Star Tribune

On January 14, 2001, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported that many members of Generation X, born between 1960 and 1980, "treat religion more as a matter of personal choice than a duty or responsibility handed down from past generations...In an August 2000 Gallup Poll, some 85 percent of Gen X respondents said religion was important to them personally and more than 60 percent said religion can solve all or most of today's problems...What some scholars and church leaders fear, however, is that this increasingly personal faith threatens to ease traditional churches out of the picture and to set God to one side." But others think "'it could actually be a sign of a much deeper spiritual quest.'...Generation X does not place its faith in institutions. One of the most self-reliant generations in modern times...their music is one of alienation, an appeal to find truth within oneself...Just 60 percent of young adults told the August 2000 Gallup Poll they belong to a church or synagogue, compared to 76 percent of people 50 and over...But there is little difference among the generations when it comes to the overwhelming numbers--more than 90 percent--who believe in God." Hundreds of thousands of Generation Xers have turned to 'seeker' churches where only the Bible is sacred. They feel more spiritual and intimate in small groups than in the traditional church setting. Their practice of religion is often every bit as stringent as more traditional forms of worship, with "a high level of ethical demands based on literal interpretations of scripture."