Does Gen Z Believe in a Higher Power?

 In Religion & Spirituality

Gen Z may not fill seats at weekend religious services, but that doesn’t mean they don’t believe in the higher power on which many of those services are focused. A large majority of young people surveyed for our 2022 State of Religion and Young People report say they have a system of beliefs and values that guide their lives. Half of young people say they believe in a higher power to some degree, and 52% percent of those feel at least moderately connected to that higher power.  

Our data shows that those who are living out those core beliefs or claim a connection to a higher power report the highest rates of mental and emotional flourishing.  Young people are telling us that having those beliefs and connections helps their mental health. Below, see what Gen Zers have to say about how their beliefs support their mental wellness.

“I'd say having a religion as something to lean on and explore is helpful to my mental health, because [it’s helpful to have a] bigger picture of connection, having someplace or something that [reminds me] this is happening for a reason. Knowing that there's something that I can rely on and go to is an important thing. And definitely as I've grown up, I've definitely explored more into like what I personally believe in and what, what religion means to me.”  

"It's a guide that it's something that's really important that influences your life...It's very, it's really nice to have something to go back on, to land on when you're falling on, the same could be said with so many other religions and so many other spiritual identifiers, because if you have something that comforts you, if you have something that helpful to you, something that you feel you, that you feel yourself with, then when you're in these distressing situations, it can be a pick me up, a guide, or a reason to be, to continue to be yourself and not let a lot of what life unfortunately throws at you... stop you."

"But I think that having a larger sense of purpose allows kind of, at least the people who I've talked to who have found that some sort of like spirituality or sense of purpose, has allowed them to feel like more grounded… instead of kind of being like a lot of times it's when you're in your teens, you're just like, where do I go? But it gives them kind of like almost like a guide path or something kind of like to work with."

“I do think that people can improve their mental health by like going to church and that sort of thing. Cause it just provides like a potential, you know, reason for why things are the way they are, because that's what religion is. The definition I learned for a religion rather than a belief system is they need to explain why and how we got here. And some people often do have, you know, existential crises and they don't have the answers to those questions and religion can provide an answer to that. And that helps.”

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