Why are Students Less Religious Than Prior Generations?

It appears that our generation, specifically those who are in college now, are either very religious or not religious at all. There seems to be no middle ground between the two. Not to indicate that people that consider themselves to be “very religious” are always active church/temple/mosque-goers or pray every day and that people who consider themselves “not religious at all” are atheists. But, there seems to be a disconnect between our generation and our religious upbringings.

In all honesty, it is evident that the amount of people that value religion as a core American value of life has dropped significantly, and has, therefore, changed our need to keep up with religious routines. For the most part, all of us as children had a religious upbringing. Regardless of what religion we were brought up with, there now seems to be a disconnect that has made us no longer want to continue to be “religious.” This trend isn’t just apparent within just our generation, but a portion our parents’ generation as well. It seems as though the value of religion has decreased within our society.

At this age and stage in our lives, our parents tend to ease up a bit on forcing one into things and are now allowing one to develop our own core values for life. Yes, our parents might try to encourage us to attend a religious service or some sort of event while at college, but they don’t scold you when you refuse. We are mature enough to form our own opinions. Parents try to respect that as much as they can, while still encouraging you to be active to some extent. This is the time in our lives, though, that we truly discover our own personal values, such as whether religion really plays a more significant role in our lives moving forward or not.  

Religion is still a very prevalent space in many world cultures, but the importance of it has seemed to lessen throughout the less 20 years. As millennials and Gen Z are coming into their own and forming their own opinions, the topic of religion seems to not matter as much to them.