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At least three-quarters of those surveyed believe parents should pass on religion to their children (Mazur/

A survey of attitudes among young people in eight countries about religious beliefs, prayer and social issues found that believers and non-believers were very likely to agree about the severity of environmental problems and the danger of political corruption in the world. Source: OSV News.

Religious belief did play a role in attitudes on several other social issues, the survey said; for example, atheists tended to support the legalisation of prostitution and surrogacy, while Catholics were more likely to reject the death penalty and the justification of war compared to people of other religions and atheists.

Results of the survey, titled, “Young People: Expectations, Ideals, Beliefs,” were released on February 29 by the Footprints Research Group of the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross in Rome together with seven other universities around the world.

The group said it wanted to look at young people from an international point of view since the vast majority of research on young people usually takes place on a national level. And it wanted a “broad perspective” from a Christian anthropological view about their values, the reasons for their decisions, their religious practices and perceptions of the Church.

The survey, with 37 questions, was conducted in Argentina, Brazil, Italy, Kenya, Mexico, the Philippines, Spain and the UK from November 16 to December 11, 2023. It sampled at least 600 young people from each of the eight countries for a total of 4889 individuals between the ages of 18 and 29. The margin of error was plus or minus 1.4 percentage points.

About 73 per cent of those surveyed said they believe in God while 8 per cent were “searching to believe in God,” it said.

At least three-quarters of those surveyed believe sin exists and that parents should pass religion on to their children. Those in sharpest disagreement to both statements were in Spain and the UK.

Of those who said they stopped believing in God, the majority said it happened during middle school and high school.


Survey: Faith influences views on some, not all, social issues (By Carol Glatz, CNS via OSV News)