Religion is Changing with the Times

The numbers of young adults attending mass and mosque are declining, suggesting a lack of spirituality and faith in 18 to 29 year olds.

However, outside of regular religious services there are spaces of faith specifically catered to young people that are growing in size.

Chapel Dublin is a Christian service that takes place on Wednesdays in the heart of Dublin. The place prides itself on being a place of diversity with people coming from Catholic, atheist, Protestant and every other background in between.

When it began, it only had seven to eight people and is now seeing upwards of 200 to 300 people every week.Similarly, mosques have begun running youth programmes in an attempt to keep youth interested.

Muslim Youth Ireland aims to keep children and teens educated and interested in their religion and heritage.

Within third level education, most colleges and universities have Christian unions, Muslim societies, Buddhist societies and many more to give religious students a community to link into.

Despite all these efforts, faith is seemingly on the decline as younger generations move away from tradition and beliefs held by older generations. 

Within Christianity 53 percent of evangelicals between the age of 18 to 29 now support same-sex marriage, according to Public Religion Research Institute. This suggests a strong shift from the typical Christian theology.

According to Pew Research Center, Islam has a similar figure of 55 percent of Muslims aged 18 to 29 who do not oppose same-sex marriage.

So, while many people are no longer going to services it may not be that they are not interested in faith and spirituality, but rather a change in how they experience faith.

Rather than exercising their faith through congregational prayers and sitting in pews, they are now entering and creating new spaces that are more accepting and open-minded.

Alongside, the increase in interest and belief of astrology specifically in 18 to 24 year olds, suggests that religion is being swapped out for a more personal spirituality. The idea that the universe and alignment of stars or planets decides your personality and life plan, replaces a god figure.

Overall, faith and spirituality in young people may seem to be declining but, in reality it is just changing and evolving as it has done throughout human history. 

Just because we don’t sacrifice children to Mayan gods anymore does not mean we are no longer spiritual, our understanding of God, Allah, and the universe may just be growing and evolving.