Members of America's newest generation, the so-called “millennials” ages 18-29, are abandoning the Bible and even driving a shift in America “toward Bible indifference or antagonism,” according to the 2014 State of the Bible survey from the American Bible Society.
More than any other generation in America, millennials are reading the Bible less, find it has a smaller impact on their life than previous generations and are more antagonistic toward the Good Book than others.
The survey conducted by the Barna Group for the society found:
– Although 79 percent of adults believe the Bible is sacred literature, only 64 percent of millennials do.
– 19 percent of millennials believe no literature is sacred, compared to just 13 percent of all adults.
– Exactly half of adults overall believe the Bible “contains everything a person needs to know to live a meaningful life,” but that number is just 35 percent for millennials.
– Half of adults believe the Bible has too little influence in society, but only 30 percent of millennials agree.
– 39 percent of millennials never read the Bible outside of church, compared to 26 percent of all adults.
The survey also found that since 2011, antagonism toward the Bible has risen from 11 percent to 19 percent and those who consider themselves “Bible-friendly” dropped from 45 percent to 37 percent.
In a statement to Secrets accompanying the new survey, Roy Peterson, president of the American Bible Society, said, “With four years of data from American Bible Society’s State of the Bible research, we are now able to see trends in attitudes about and behaviors around the Bible. The increasing polarization in attitudes about the Bible has implications for us as a nation and for our churches and families.”
But nobody’s counting the Bible down for the count. According to the survey, 88 percent of Americans own a Bible, and there is a surge of those reading it via smartphone app.Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.