Teens Move Away From Religion


Photo by Tim Kubasik

Photo by Tim Kubasik
Photo by Tim Kubasik

This generation of teens is less interested in religion than teens of prior years, according to a recent NPR survey that finds approximately one third of young adults claim to have no religion.

A study conducted by Olin College of Engineering suspects three factors contribute to about half of the disaffiliation in teens: a decrease in religious upbringing, an increase in the amount of college education and a rise in heavy internet use.

Many teens attend religious services only on holidays, as it is the most common time to attend. Junior Bohdan Bartsch only goes to church about twice a year. “I don’t think you need to go to a church to show your “lovea��. Going to church [or any religious service] every [week] doesn’t make you a good person: what you do in life determines that,” Bartsch said.

Other teens find comfort in religious environments even if they do not believe in a God. While sophomore Joanna Klinedinst does not believe in any God-like figure, she still participates actively at her Unitarian Universalist church, Cedar Lane.

“Unitarian Universalism a�� is really inclusive, loving and supportive. I have never felt more at home than when I am at church,” Klinedinst said. “It’s a home for those who need a home.” For Klindedinst, her religion is about reinforcing morality.

Even if teens are not attending traditional places of worship, they are still getting exposure to religions around the world. In classes such as Modern World, students in public schools are taught the origin of religion, including why it came about and which religions are heavily based off of others. On the other hand, private high schools such as Our Lady of Good Counsel, a Catholic institution, have religion classes students take where they learn about the Bible in depth.

RHS has a student-led group centered on religion called “Sevena��, which is a collection of varying types of Christian students. Seven meets on Fridays at lunch and is a way to share a common faith. Seven sponsor Sara Nathan said, “My goal is to not bring religion back into schools, it’s for the people who want to have [religious involvement].”