My Take: Why young evangelicals are leaving church
Laura Sessions Stepp says young church dropouts are tired of being told how they should live their lives.
December 16th, 2011
12:45 PM ET

My Take: Why young evangelicals are leaving church

Editor's note: Laura Sessions Stepp is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, formerly with The Washington Post, who specializes in the coverage of young people.

By Laura Sessions Stepp, Special to CNN

(CNN) - Republican conservatives should be worried. Evangelical churches that frequently support conservative candidates are finally admitting something the rest of us have known for some time: Their young adult members are abandoning church in significant numbers and taking their voting power with them.

David Kinnaman, the 38-year-old president of the Barna Group, an evangelical research firm, is the latest to sound the alarm. In his new book, "You Lost Me: Why Young Christians Are Leaving Church and Rethinking Faith," he says that 18- to 29-year-olds have fallen down a "black hole" of church attendance. There is a 43% drop in Christian church attendance between the teen and early adult years, he says.

Read the full story here.
- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Church

soundoff (73 Responses)
  1. SafeJourney

    Because young people have access to alot of information via the internet these days and can not be brainwashed as they were in the past. The more people are able to educate themselves the more they realize that religion is a farce. Religion as a whole will be gone next century.

    January 15, 2012 at 8:52 am |
  2. achepotle

    Without reading the article, I assume because they now realize it is a stupid religion full of lies, hate and BS?

    December 30, 2011 at 11:28 am |
  3. Greg Powell

    Please read http://www.FindingLifeInJesus.com

    December 30, 2011 at 4:30 am |
  4. Terry Swanson

    Well said, David Johnson.

    December 20, 2011 at 4:01 pm |
  5. Reality

    Summarizing the conclusions of Christopher Hitchens:

    Recognizing the flaws, follies and frauds in the foundations of Islam, Judaism and Christianity, the "bowers", kneelers" and "pew peasants" are converging these religions into some simple rules of life e.g. Do No Harm. No koran, bible, clerics, nuns, monks, imams, evangelicals, popes, ayatollahs, rabbis, professors of religion or priests needed or desired.

    Ditto for houses of "worthless worship" aka mosques, churches, basilicas, cathedrals, temples and synagogues.

    December 20, 2011 at 8:37 am |
    • .........

      summarizing what needs to happen hit report abuse on all reality bull sh it

      December 20, 2011 at 8:39 am |
  6. RightTurnClyde

    Churches and secular religion is not synonymous with faith and conversely. Most religions have adopted false doctrine (and the know it) and preach it to others for a profit. (Like the end-of-the world preacher last year). Dogmas and nutty cult rules were not taught by Jesus and were actually forbidden in a number instances. But the churches learned to make money peddling not-so-white lies. So young people are leaving churches (and religions). Good .. not necessarily faith.

    December 20, 2011 at 2:31 am |
    • jameser35

      False doctrine is what all religions claim other religions teach. Kids today kind of think its all garbage. I'm sure you interpret the bible exactly the way it should be interpreted but then again, so does everyone else. A kid would have to be an idiot not to see that.

      December 26, 2011 at 12:27 pm |
  7. derp

    "Why young evangelicals are leaving church"

    Because church sucks, and there is a heck of a lot better stuff to do on a Sunday.

    December 19, 2011 at 4:38 pm |

      na minha opinião, uma das causas do porque muitos jovens deixam suas igrejas está no fato de que seus dirigentes não dispom de cohecimentos e não nutrem o alimento espiritual que possam nutrir em seu rebanho, esta é a minha opinião.

      January 8, 2012 at 5:13 am |
  8. Primewonk

    Possibly when young people look critically at religion today they see things like –
    Half of all republicans in Mississippi still think interracial marriage should be illegal.
    Almost all the folks running for president from the right claim to be Christian and are just positive that god wants them to hate gays.
    A 15 year old girl was rap ed by a board member of Bob Jones University and became pregnant. Her church forced her to go before the congregation and apologize. She was then sent out of state to give birth and then give up the baby.

    If you are a young adult, why in the world would you want to be a part of folks who believe like that?

    December 19, 2011 at 12:25 pm |
  9. David Johnson


    You said: "Conservative should not have to worry about evangelicals. Evangelicals should worry about these kids. Hopefully these kids can find acceptable teaching in other Christian Churchs."

    Acceptable by whose standards? Yours? Pfui!

    I hope these kids begin to use their critical thinking and come to realize the Christian god is very unlikely to exist.


    December 19, 2011 at 11:05 am |
    • Eric G

      Well said David. If there were one thing I could request of any religion, it would be a proper understanding of the phrase "burden of proof".

      December 19, 2011 at 11:10 am |
    • Terry Swanson

      of course

      December 20, 2011 at 4:02 pm |
  10. Brandy

    Conservative should not have to worry about evangelicals. Evangelicals should worry about these kids. Hopefully these kids can find acceptable teaching in other Christian Churchs.

    December 19, 2011 at 4:17 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.