Assess the reasons why young people seem to participate in religious activity less than older generations

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Assess the reasons why young people seem to participate in religious activity less than older generations

It is shown in statistics that younger people, who are over 15, don’t participate in religious activity as much the older generation. As Brierley found that the average age of churchgoers in 1979 was 37 years old, but in 2005 it was 49 years old and Heelas et al found that those involved with the New Age movement were mainly middle-aged or older. The reasons for why the younger generation are less religious is because the increase in religious diversity and scientific explanation and also because of the changes in attitudes surrounding religion.

A reason for why younger people are less likely to participate in religious activity is because of what Voas and Crockett call the generational effect. They believe that because society is becoming more secular, meaning that religion is on the decline, then every new generation is becoming less religious than the last because less people are reinforcing religious socialisation. Similarly, Bruce argues that there has been a decline in religious education through Sunday schools and because they aren’t learning about religion within education, then they are unlikely to participate in religious activities.

Therefore, there are less young people participating in religious activity because they haven’t grown up with religious socialisation or education. Whereas, the older generation have grown up with religion because it has a greater emphasis and it was more popular when they were younger.

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Another reason why young people seem to participate less in religious activity is because of the declining attraction of religion to the younger generation, as religion isn’t as desirable as it used to be. It is argued that young people may find the concept of religion unattractive because they don’t get anything out it and the services could be seen as old-fashioned, repetitive and boring from their point of view. Similarly, there are practical reasons why the younger generation participate less in religious activities, as younger people would prefer to do other things. This is because leisure has become ...

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