It is not uncommon for people to seek God during difficult times. However, the opposite seems to have happened in the United States. Coronavirus pandemic..
A Pew Research Center SurveyReleased earlier this month, 29 percent of U.S. adults said they had no religious ties, up 6 percentage points from 2016, and found that millennials are leading the change. More and more Americans said they didn’t pray too often. Approximately 32% of the people surveyed by Pew Research from May 29 to August 25 said they rarely or never pray. This is up from 18% of what the group surveyed in 2007.
Gregory Smith, Deputy Director of Research at Pew Research Center, said:
That tendency encourages more and more religious leaders to try to engage millennials with their territories.
The parishioners in masks are praying at the Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City on December 24, 2021.
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Martin, 61, is a Jesuit Catholic priest in New York City and editor of America Magazine. He is one of the religious ministers who embraced social media in the midst of a pandemic when the worship hall was forced to close their doors.
“I started these Facebook Live programs at the beginning of the pandemic because I felt people really lacked community consciousness … whatever I can do to help people meet God is important.” Martin said.
Still, the recovery of attendees has been delayed as the Church reopens across the United States. According to, the median face-to-face attendance has decreased by 12% in the last 18 months. Research Issued in November Hartford Religious Institute..
This tendency is a source of concern for worship centers, but also serves as a wake-up call for religious leaders to refine their connections with their members, Martin said.
“I think it took a while, but most churches and religious groups are aware that this needs to be dealt with,” he said.
At the East End Temple in New York City, Rabbi Joshua Stanton shocked his preaching with energy to appeal to the new congregation.
“My sermons are getting shorter and more open. And what I’m trying to encourage people to do is talk to me. Discuss them. Navigate with them. And Study together so that we can all share it. I understand. “
Stanton, 35, also said he encourages safe shelters where members can freely discuss and discuss.
New York-based designer Fletcher Eschbo, a Jewish convert recently, said that what he enjoys most about the East End Temple is the debate.
“The debate and conflict aspects are very important, and I think it is certainly a pillar of Judaism … its intellectual pursuit,” Eshbo said.
While many millennials left organized religion, Eshbo embraced Judaism many years ago after being introduced to the Jewish tradition through a few close friends. He did not grow religiously, but soon felt a sense of belonging and fulfillment.
“Through being Jewish, I find a sense of spiritual and intellectual wholeness and an understanding of my position in the world. Through Judaism, it is my continuous questioning and challenging ideas. Meet, “he said.
Pastor Jacqui Lewis of the Vote Common Good Group speaks to voters at a rally at the Mission Hills Christian Church in Los Angeles, California, October 31, 2018.
Mark Rolston | AFP | Getty Images
Elsewhere in New York City, young Christians are flocking to the Middle Collegiate Church on the Lower East Side. There, Rev. Jackie Lewis says there is no topic off the table. She encourages her congregation, mostly millennials, to get involved and tackle political issues.
“We put social justice and democracy in the midst of faith and really speak to young people,” Lewis said. “We have launched an incredible amount of campaigns for election rights, choices for women, immigrant rights, and racial justice.”
Lewis said her teachings were inspired by the Bible, but her approach is on the progressive political side, emphasizing spirituality and community over the Bible. On its website, the New Middle Collegiate Church stated that the church is “a place where treatment meets Broadway … a place where old religions add a new twist.”
Some might see this model as a change in the traditional relationship between Christians and God, but Lewis accepts it and says, “It’s exciting to me. I’m trying to get God out of the box. “.
Last year, the congregation of the New Middle Collegiate Church grew by 500 members during the pandemic, even though the 128-year-old church building itself was destroyed by a fire. According to Lewis, there are currently 1,900 members.
Paron Allen, who grew up in a conservative Christian family in Mississippi, said he had a hard time feeling accepted by his community as a homosexual.
“I was a Baptist Christian, so how we see things, and how they tell … you had to do things as the Bible literally says, but the Bible and Jesus Christ. Feels like believing in love no matter what, and I feel like I found it in the middle … it’s all about love — and love, the period, ”Allen said. rice field.
Disagreements about where Church doctrine stands on a particular issue are still a struggle for many young Catholics.
“When it comes to the Catholic Church, there are some important differences between the teachings of the Church and the ideas of young Catholics,” Martin said. “I think the two biggest issues are probably the ordination of women and how the church treats LGBTQ people.”
“The difference, perhaps 25 years ago, would have been people saying,’How can I stay Catholic and struggle with the teachings of the Church?’ Now I’m a young man just saying,’I’m leaving.’ I think it’s just saying, “Martin said. “Yes? According to them, they are far less tolerant of what they consider to be intolerant.”
Deepak Chopra, founder of the Chopra Foundation and Chopra Global, will speak at the Milken Institute Global Conference on October 18, 2021 in Beverly Hills, California.
Kyle Grillott | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Spiritual leader Deepak Chopra said, “Some of what we are saying in traditional religions does not seem logical or rational, and more people are questioning these teachings. I will. “
However, Chopra believes that being part of the community and having an unprecedented interest in finding connections.
“The pandemic has shown us that people don’t like isolation … [In] Lack of human need for love, compassion, joy, sharing, attention, affection, gratitude, gratitude … people panicked, “he said.
Chopra, 75, is the author of 97 books on topics ranging from Jesus and the Buddha to the Metaverse. He has attracted followers all over the world and speaks at prestigious events throughout the year. As the founder of the Chopra Foundation, he hosts a global retreat where spiritual minds come to heal, meditate and connect.
“The retreat is full,” he said. “I’ve just finished one in Mexico. I’ve finished another in Los Angeles. People are flocking to these retreats.”
It can cost thousands of dollars to attend an event. A A week-long retreat scheduled for next month in Carefree, Arizona.. , Prices range from $ 6,000 to $ 8,000. Chopra said people would skip the church to attend these retreats, stressing that reduced religious observance might cast doubt on how society is changing, but of ours. Not so about the spiritual nature.
“The spiritual experience never disappears,” he said. “The need to find meaning and purpose in our beings never goes away. The need to solve inevitable suffering never goes away.”
As the pandemic progressed, he said that the connection between the younger generation and spirituality was one way to engage with them.
Mega Desailly will also attend the Desailly Foundation event in New York City on April 9, 2014.
Donald Bowers | Getty Images
Hindu philanthropist Marcel Desailly grew up in Boston, but spent time in India on a regular basis. She worshiped at beautiful temples in both countries. However, Desai, who now lives in New York City, said the pandemic had changed her relationship with religion and urged her to ask more questions.
“I have certainly tested my faith for the last two years,” Desai said. “Because it is difficult to find meaning in many lives that are robbed of us.”
Desai still recognizes her as a Hindu, but said she is no longer religious.
“I approach God’s connection from a spiritual place rather than a religious means …. I think the Hindu rituals I participate in are more like Diwali-like festivals that connect me to my culture than to faith. “I will.” Said Desai. , Who does it Desai Foundation, A non-profit organization that organizes communities and educational programs for women in India.
Indeed, even if young Americans continue to leave organized religion, their quest to answer the most difficult questions in life will always be at the heart of the people, Chopra said.
“Some of what we are told in traditional religions does not seem to be logical or rational,” he said. “So people are leaving … but humans still ask the same question: does our existence have a meaning or purpose? Why do we suffer?”
Millennials lead the shift from organized religions as the pandemic tests faith
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