Young adults are leaving organized religion in high numbers. Religion News Service spoke with co-authors Melinda Lundquist Denton and CRCC’s Richard Flory on the findings in their new book about the changing shape of religion in America, Back-Pocket God: Religion and Spirituality in the Lives of Emerging Adults. The interview discussed Christian labels, mainline Protestant identity, and COVID-19’s effects on young adults and religion.
Here is an excerpt from the interview:
You write that the biggest “winner” is the growth of the nonreligious. Only 11% of these kids were not religious when they were teenagers, compared to 35% as emerging adults. Were you surprised?
Flory: I think that the volume of the change was more than I would have expected. What’s particularly surprising is that overall, more than half, 51%, never show up at any kind of religious service at all. I thought that more would have hung on in various ways.