Church attendance in the United States has dropped off since the pandemic for Generation X more sharply than for other age groups, according to a new survey. Source: National Catholic Register.
The survey of 2,000 adults conducted by the Cultural Research Center at Arizona Christian University found that the percentage of people ages 39 to 57 who attended a worship service during the week, either in person or online, fell to 28 per cent in 2023, down from 41 per cent in 2020, the Wall Street Journal reported this week. Gen Xers saw the largest percentage drop among the age groups surveyed.
The percentage of Gen Xers who worship weekly is now as low as among millennials, at 28 per cent, the survey posits. In fact, the oft-maligned millennial generation experienced during the pandemic the least amount of change in their perspectives about the Christian faith and their participation in biblical practice, the researchers assert.
In contrast, “no generation endured greater spiritual turbulence than Gen X during the pandemic,” said George Barna, Director of research at the Cultural Research Centre.
“Among the biggest changes in their religious perspective were declines in believing God created humans, that he is the basis of truth, and that he is the omniscient and omnipotent ruler of the universe. Those doubts have precipitated important transitions in religious behavior, including less frequent Bible reading, church attendance, confession of personal sin, seeking to do God’s will, and worshipping God,” the report says.
Among baby boomers, the results of this survey suggest a slight upward trend in church attendance in the past three years, the only age group for which this was true. Participation among the elderly fell only slightly.
Experts cited by the WSJ said many people in their 40s and 50s were raised in a church and did not seriously question their faith practice until the pandemic. In addition, parents often attend places of worship to get their kids through certain religious milestones, after which their participation begins to wane.
Generation Xers’ Church Attendance Drops to Millennial Levels, Survey Suggests (By Jonah McKeown, CNA via National Catholic Register)