Gen Z and Spiritual Practice
Springtide data show that fewer and fewer young people are reporting regular attendance at religious services. This is on par with the larger trend of declining service attendance by people of all ages in the United States. Our findings also show that a majority of young people report either past affiliation with a religious or spiritual community, or never having been affiliated with one at all.
However, some may assume that because young people don’t attend services, they are disinterested in religion or spirituality. Our data tell a very different story—one of great interest in all forms of spirituality and significant engagement with spiritual practice.
Our previous research uncovered a pattern among young people that we term Faith Unbundled, which describes the way they construct their faith by combining elements of belief, identity, practices, and community from a variety of religious and nonreligious sources, as opposed to receiving these elements from a single system. Young people partake in beliefs and practices in an attempt to answer the big questions they’re facing, to help them further discover identity or purpose, or to find sources of meaning.
Their willingness to entertain elements from a number of different religious and spiritual traditions signals an openness to religion and spirituality.
Our data show that young people engage in a number of spiritual practices, and not just from a single source or faith tradition.
Below, three young people share their thoughts on spiritual practice:
Want to learn more about young people’s religious and spiritual lives? Check out The State of Religion and Young People 2023: Exploring the Sacred.