16 Reasons Gen Z Is The Least Religious Generation

16 Reasons Gen Z Is The Least Religious Generation

Gen Z is making headlines as the least religious generation yet, Pacific Standard notes. Gone are the days when most folks automatically followed the faith of their families. So, what’s changed? From easy access to information challenging those old traditions to a focus on social justice that sometimes clashes with religious doctrine, there are tons of reasons for this shift.

1. Gen Z has seriously easy access to loads of information.

Think about it – Gen Z practically grew up with a whole world of knowledge packed into their pockets! They have access to so many different ideas and beliefs. They just Google things, read up on viewpoints, and they’re not afraid to question what they’ve been taught. All that questioning can make traditional religion start to lose its grip a little bit. Plus, with social media and the internet in general, they see firsthand how different people live and believe – sometimes that makes their own faith seem less like the only way.

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2. They’ve seen a ton of religious hypocrisy.

Religion isn’t always the picture of tolerance and love it sometimes preaches. Gen Z has watched religious scandals, witnessed leaders act super shady, and seen how religion can fuel some seriously ugly behavior. It’s no surprise this generation might be hesitant to get on board. They’ve seen plenty of folks claiming to be all holy, then acting totally opposite – that kind of thing leaves a bad taste in your mouth. It’s no wonder so many people turn their backs on religion.

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3. They value acceptance and inclusion, and that doesn’t always gel with traditional religions.

This generation is fighting for a world where everyone’s unique identity is celebrated. Unfortunately, some traditional religious doctrines can seem at odds with ideals like LGBTQ+ equality. No wonder some Gen Z folks don’t feel like organized religion is a welcoming place. It’s tough to be part of something if you feel like it doesn’t fully accept you or your friends.

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4. Religion isn’t the only place Gen Z turns to for support and community.

Unlike their parents or grandparents, Gen Z has a whole network of online communities they can connect with. Finding friendship, advice, and even a sense of belonging online sometimes makes traditional religious communities seem a little less necessary. Plus, tons of young folks join groups based on hobbies or causes, finding their squad outside of church or temple.

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5. They focus more on social action than just prayer.

While religion often promises change in the afterlife, Gen Z wants to make a difference in the world right now. They’re into volunteering, activism, and hands-on involvement– not just spiritual solutions. It’s like, if they see a problem, they want to fix it themselves, not just hope some higher power might get around to it.

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6. They generally prioritize personal experience over traditional authority.

They aren’t as easily swayed just because “that’s the way things have always been done.” They’re all about what feels right to them. This can make religious structures that depend on unquestioning faith less attractive. Honestly, sometimes it seems like older generations expect Gen Z to follow along without asking “why?” – but that just ain’t how they roll.

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7. Their parents are already less religious overall.

It’s simple – kids often follow in their parents’ footsteps, religiously speaking. Since Millennials and even some Gen X folks are less religious than generations before, per data published by Pew Research Center, it’s natural their kids would be, too. Plus, if parents are more chill about faith, their kids are less likely to get super involved in a strict religious setting.

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8. Their world is really diverse, making “one true way” feel less convincing.

This generation has grown up with friends from all walks of life, with different beliefs and cultures. That makes it kinda hard to believe that any one religion holds all the answers. They see how different folks find meaning in their lives, so the idea there’s only one right way to do things just doesn’t make sense to them.

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9. Religion can be strict, and Gen Z craves freedom.

From rigid rituals to moral codes that can feel outdated, some religious life can seem stifling. Gen Z wants to explore, figure things out for themselves, and not be confined by a rulebook. It’s like, some religious expectations haven’t changed in forever, and that clashes with a generation that wants space to grow and change themselves.

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10. Plenty of Gen Z folks do consider themselves spiritual, just not religious.

Believing in something bigger than yourself doesn’t always have to mean belonging to an organized group. Lots of Gen Z-ers are crafting their own kind of spirituality outside of traditional religion. It’s more about finding personal meaning in nature, or kindness, or even art, than following a set of rules laid out by someone else.

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11. Some of them get turned off by aggressive religious marketing.

man's hand on bible

You know those overly enthusiastic proselytizers? Yeah, turns out relentless efforts to convert people can actually backfire. Gen Z values authenticity and finds that in-your-face approach a bit off-putting. If someone’s super pushy about their faith, it can make a Gen Z person way less curious, and even kind of suspicious.

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12. Let’s face it, religion sometimes has a bad PR problem.


From historical abuses to current controversies, religion doesn’t always have a shiny reputation, The Guardian notes. It can be hard for Gen Z to see the positive side when negativity makes so many headlines. With so much info out there, they see the good and the bad, and sometimes the bad overshadows the rest.

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13. Other priorities just rank higher for Gen Z right now.

To be fair, this generation is under tons of pressure – student debt, climate change, an unpredictable job market… Finding a spiritual path may take a backseat to more immediate concerns. It’s not that faith isn’t important, it’s just that rent and figuring out what the heck they’re doing with their lives feels more urgent.

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14. They might just be figuring life out for a bit.

They’re young, still experimenting, and discovering who they are. Organized religion might feel like one more thing to commit to when they’re already trying to navigate a whole lot of change. It makes sense they’d take time to explore different things or just focus on themselves before diving deep into a religious community.

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15. Gen Z can be skeptical and question everything.

It’s kinda their thing! Sometimes religion expects faith without proof, which can be a tough pill to swallow for a generation that likes to see the facts. They’re not afraid to ask tough questions, and if the answers don’t satisfy them, they’re going to keep searching.

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16. They care deeply about having agency over their own lives.

This generation highly values independence and the right to carve their own path. Sometimes strict religious doctrines can feel like they’re taking away that freedom. Gen Z wants to make their own choices, live by their own values, and religion doesn’t always support that kind of total self-determination.

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Jeff graduated from NYU with a degree in Political Science and moved to Australia for a year before eventually settling back in Brooklyn with his yellow lab, Sunny, and his girlfriend, Mia. He works in IT during the day and writes at night. In the future, he hopes to publish his own novel.