GUTERSLOH, Germany, JULY 11, 2008 (Zenit.org).-
A German research foundation reports that, contrary to popular belief, teenagers and young adults are interested in religion.The German Bertelsmann Foundation announced Wednesday that a study on religion and religious practices worldwide found that 85% of young adults between 18 and 29 are religious, and 44% are deeply religious.Only 13% have no appreciation for God or faith in general."The assumption that religious belief is dwindling continuously from generation to generation is clearly refuted by our worldwide surveys -- even in many industrialized nations," Dr. Martin Rieger, project leader of the Bertelsmann Foundation's Religion Monitor, concluded in a press statement.
The study, which surveyed 21,000 individuals from 21 nations, noted important differences among cultures. For example, young adults in Islamic states and developing countries are deeply religious, while young Christians in Europe are comparatively unreligious.
Among Catholics in particular, the proportion of deeply religious Catholics in Europe is 25% percent, while outside Europe this figure is 68%.Most of the youth of Eastern Europe and Russia have not been baptized, and most young people have no connection at all to faith and the Church. Only 13% are deeply religious.ExceptionThe study noted that a great exception among the Western industrialized countries is the United States, where 54% of the young adults polled said they considered themselves deeply religious.The study also revealed that 35% of the young adults surveyed worldwide who regard themselves as not belonging to a denomination, nonetheless identified themselves as religious.Religious practices also differed among cultures.
For youth in developing countries such as Nigeria and Guatemala, 90% reported praying at least once a day, and 75% of the respondents in countries such as India, Morocco and Turkey do likewise.In contrast, daily prayer is no longer common practice among young Europeans. In France, just 9% of young adults pray daily, in Russia the figure is 8%, and in Austria only around 7%.In the United States, 57% of young Americans say they pray on a daily basis.