American millennials are significantly less likely to believe in the existence of God and the authority of the Bible, a new survey has found.
The American Worldview Inventory survey from Arizona Christian University discovered that millennials, following the lead of Generation X, are rejecting more traditional religious practices and affiliations in favor of “other beliefs” like horoscopes. The Cultural Research Center at ASU conducted the poll, which surveyed 2,000 adults with a “plus-or-minus 2 percentage points” margin of error. According to the Kansas City Star:
“The survey defines millennials as individuals born between 1984 and 2002 and members of Generation X born from 1965 to 1983.
Those generations are exceedingly more likely to have different spiritual beliefs than those in the baby boomer and builder age groups. Baby boomers are defined as those born from 1946 to 1964 and the builder generation as those born from 1927 to 1945.”
According to the survey, 57 percent of millennials identify as Christian, while 43 percent said they “don’t know, care or believe that God exists.” Thirty percent of millennials said they believe God created the universe and 31 percent recognize God as “the all-knowing, all powerful, just creator of the universe (who) still rules it today.” These percentages increase slightly among Generation X and double for what the survey identifies as the boomer and builder generations.
While only three percent of builders and 10 percent of boomers are guided by horoscopes, 35 percent of millennials and 32 percent of Gen X are guided by their horoscopes, according to the survey results.
The survey also found that millennials are “less likely to embrace the Bible for moral guidance, consider Satan to be real and participate in religious activities.”
“Gen X and the millennials have solidified dramatic changes in the nation’s central beliefs and lifestyles,” said a news release from George Barna, the ASU Cultural Research Center’s director of research. “From a nationwide perspective, the Christian church has done shockingly little to push back. The result is a culture in which core institutions — including churches — and basic ways of life are continually being radically redefined.” Barna continued:
“The Millennial generation in particular, seems committed to living without God, without the Bible, and without Christian churches as foundations in either their personal life or within American society. In the Sixties and Seventies, baby boomers opened the floodgates of questioning cultural foundations. Baby Busters, or Gen X, continued that cultural transition, though less emphatically. Millennials are emulating the aggressiveness of the Boomers in their determination to reshape culture according to their preferences.”
This survey agrees with the results of a recent Gallup poll. For the first time in the 80-year history of the Gallup poll on church membership, fewer than 50 percent of people in the US belong to a church, a synagogue, or a mosque. Gallup also found that only 36 percent of millennials belong to a church, synagogue, or mosque and a mere six percent said that they participate on a daily basis in religious activities.