Of every 10 people who were raised in a particular religion but today identify their religious affiliation as "none," six say they abandoned their childhood faith before they turned 18, according to the Public Religion Research Institute.
"These findings are alarming for faith leaders, as well as parents hoping to raise their kids to be faithful adults," Kelsey Dallas reports. "Youth programs and parenting routines designed to pass on religious practice appear to be failing, and 1 in 4 Americans are considered nones today, compared with 12 percent 20 years ago, PRRI reported."
But research on the "nones" and the experience of young adults "offer clues on how best to address the exodus of teenagers and young adults away from faith," she writes.
One thing to keep in mind is that the research shows expressing no religious affiliation is not the same as stopping to believe in God, which only one-third of nones say is the case.
"There remains a level of belief in God, spirits and miracles. These people pray a lot," said Richard Flory, a sociologist and senior director of research and evaluation at the University of Southern California's Center for Religion and Civic Culture. "That tells me that it's the delivery system that's out of whack."
READ MORE [Deseret News]