Researchers at the American Bible Society (ABS) released their “State of the Bible – USA 2021” report last week, finding that Gen Z individuals – ages 9 to 24 – demonstrated having a “precarious relationship with the Bible.”
The survey was conducted separately this year on nearly 100 Gen Z youth (ages 15–17) and more than 3,300 Gen Z adults (ages 18–24) from January 4–29, with 9% of the younger group designated as “Scripture Engaged” – centered on reading the Bible – compared to 14% of Gen Z adults and 23% of Millennials.
Reflective of the anti-Christian campus climate of public schools, 47% of Gen Z youth are designated as “Bible Disengaged” – five times as many as those who are “Bible Engaged” – indicating that biblical values are being increasingly uprooted from the schools, which consistently attack Christian principles as intolerant, offensive, bigoted and hate speech.
“Half of all American adults qualify as a Bible User today – those who use the Bible at least three to four times per year,” ABS explained. “However, only one-third of Gen Z youth (34%) are Bible Users, while 43% of Gen Z adults qualify, [and] compared with Gen Z, Millennials have a much higher percentage of Bible Users – approaching the national average (49%).”
De-Christianizing our kids
It was further discovered that fewer Gen Z American youth read their Bibles last year in the midst of the racial injustice protests and pandemic.
“The turmoil of 2020 did not spark greater Bible use among teenagers, [as] Gen Z youth (27%) are more likely than Gen Z adults (19%) or Millennials (9%) to say they decreased their Bible use in the past year,” ABS researchers noted. “Millennials – on the other hand – are more likely to say their Bible use has increased in the past year (29%), compared with Gen Z adults (27%) and Gen Z youth (21%).”
The survey indicates that overall, the younger generation no longer looks to the Bible as its source for a worldview or morality.
“[Gen Z has] significant uncertainty about Scripture’s value [and] lower-than-average Bible engagement,” ABS pointed out. “When asked about the Bible’s importance to sustaining key American ideals, youth in Gen Z (ages 15–17) were more likely than adult members of their generation and far more likely than older adults to be undecided.”
The Christian group made another concerning observation from the study.
“Gen Z youth may continue to form their opinions as they age into adulthood, but Gen Z as a whole are still more likely than Millennials to question the Bible’s relevance to issues like liberty (37% vs. 27%) and unity (29% vs. 20%),” researchers stated.
Other influences taking over
This year’s ABS survey was consistent with a study conducted by the Barna Group in 2018, which discovered that Gen Z teens were more prone than older generations to identify themselves as atheist (35%), agnostic or religious unaffiliated – compared to 30% of Millennials and Gen X, and 26% of Baby Boomers.
Besides the politically correct and biblically incorrect teaching in schools, it is argued that the problem of American youth being de-Christianized is to some degree from the pulpit.
“Over the last few decades, [many pulpits have remained silent as] Americans have seen the destruction of the institution of marriage, the removal of God’s Word in several areas and the embracing of CRT,” The Christian Post reported. “Many pulpits are also silent about governmental abuse [and] the LGBTQ agenda.”