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Barna research report suggests latest generation most atheist ever

Posted by / December 12, 2018

A Barna research report reveals that the members of Generation Z are less likely to identify is Christian and the number “that identifies as atheist is double that of the U.S. adult population.”

Here are the takeaway numbers:

  • 13% of Gen Z identify as atheist, compared to 6% of adults.
  • 59% of Gen Z identify as Christian, while 75% of Boomers do.
  • Teens and young adults are more likely to call the problem of evil a dealbreaker than their adult counterparts.
  • Teens are less likely(!)to call religious people judgmental than adults (17% versus 24%)
  • “For many teens, truth seems relative at best and, at worst, altogether unknowable.” (I’m quoting directly from the report)

Beware of over-interpreting this data. It’s very, very soon to make the claim that Gen Z’s relatively high percentage of atheism and low percentage means that religion is on the decline in America. That claim has been made again and again, and it has always been wrong. In fact, historically speaking, a rising number of non-believers might actually lead to an increase in religion in the long term for a variety of reasons: evangelists will see opportunity, churches will unite against non-belief and work hard to return members to the fold, and like any societal movement secularization eventually leads to a pendulum swing in the opposite direction.

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