Why Are Millennals Less Christian Than Other Gernerations

Luke Swetland

Whether you believe in God or Christianity itself, you can not deny that some of the greatest names in American history have been Christians. But today Christianity is not as popular as it has been in previous generations, especially among Millennials. This can be contributed to many ideas. I believe that the two main reasons why this has happened are that Christianity, especially in the North East, has become “old fashion” and people are more tolerant of diverse views. I feel that many Millennials do not see Christianity as being a very tolerant religion.

Today, according to the Pew Research Center, the Millennial population is ~44% religiously unaffiliated. This is much higher when you look at previous generations, such as Gen X or Baby Boomers, who had a 28% and 22% of the population identifying as unaffiliated with religion. Christians have very deep roots in New England and have greatly influenced the culture, but nowadays people see it as old fashioned and not relevant.

I interviewed Cariana, an IHS student who left Christianity and is now an atheist. I asked her why have people of our generation become less religious/Christian?  She responded with, “People are finding their own voices and moving away/evolving away from a book written thousands of years ago by some old men, in a different time with different technologies who just don’t have the ability to understand how we have changed in this day and age.”

Cariana does make a valid point; many religious texts such as the Bible, the Quran and other holy books from around the world were written by men. These books were meant to help people answer the big questions of the time that could not be answered. Throughout history, many prominent religious figures used their religion to explain natural events. If you look back in history at the times of the Black Plague, the heads of the Church would explain why it was happening. Usually they would tell the people that you have sinned and God is punishing us for your sins and you must repent and turn back to God. Now we know that the Black Plague was spread via infected fleas that lived on rats. But how could someone in the 14th century know that a flea would kill nearly a third of Europe? They couldn’t; therefore, it was explained in a way people would understand, as God’s punishment.

I was raised to accept everyone for their differences whether these were good or bad. I was raised as a Christian and I still am one. As a Christian, I am supposed to be loving, kind, and caring to all people, from every walk of life. But I have seen people use Christianity as an excuse to send hateful messages. I asked a friend of mine, Chelsea Kingston, who is a youth pastor in my area, to see if she believes that Christianity is less tolerant. “Christians have been consumed with fighting what are known as “the culture wars” on issues such as human sexuality. The very labeling of this fierce conflict between Christ-followers and secularists has made it exceedingly unpopular to hold to Christian beliefs on certain issues. This is a very touchy subject among Christians today. There is a fine line between stating your belief and being called a bigot.” To me, when  I see a person who is holding a hateful message and claims to be a Christian, they are being a very poor representative of their faith. Christianity is not based on hate for others. Christianity is based on the love, that if you believe in Jesus, was poured out for you.

I feel that in recent years many have been under intense criticism and critiqued for what they believe. And for me, as a Christian, I enjoy being asked tough and thought provoking questions. It makes me question why I believe what I believe. So why are Millennials less Christian? It can be due to the rise in scientific reasoning, a growing population of non-Christians moving to America, and the belief that Christians aren’t very tolerant of other people’s beliefs.