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Study: 44 Percent of Adults Are More Open to God Post-Pandemic

Study: 44 Percent of Adults Are More Open to God Post-Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has left a profound impact on people’s lives across the world, and the United States is no exception. As Americans navigate these challenging times, a new report from the Barna Group shows that the majority of the US population is looking for answers and hope.

According to the survey of 2,000 U.S. adults, 44 percent of respondents described themselves as “more open to God today than I was before the pandemic.” An overwhelming majority of Gen Z (73 percent) and Millennials (77 percent) shared they had a deeper desire to grow spiritually.

The report also found that most respondents expressed confidence in the existence of a spiritual or supernatural dimension to the world. Gen Z and Millennials were the most likely to believe in a “supernatural/spiritual dimension” at 83 percent, with Gen X and baby boomers following closely behind at 82 and 79 percent, respectifully.

However, despite the growing spiritual openness among Americans, “religious affiliation and church attendance continue to decline” in the U.S. as noted by Barna Group CEO David Kinnaman. The 2020 State of the Church report showed that only 25 percent of Americans identify as practicing Christians, a pretty significant drop from the 43 percent in 2000. This shift is indicative of a growing trust gap between spiritual individuals and organized religion.

“The majority of Americans have signaled that they’re willing to consider exploring spirituality. They are open to more that truly satisfies,” Kinnaman added. “The challenge facing the Church and parachurch is whether they are ready and able to meet the spiritually open — where they are, as they are. Our data show the Church has real work to do to bridge the trust gap for people who are spiritual but not religious.”

The most recent findings double down on Barna’s previously reported Open Generation study, which analyzed the view of 25,000 teens worldwide. Kinnaman shared that the next few years will be extremely important for the future of the Church, especially regarding the younger generation.

“In a culture that has generally downgraded the reputation of Christians and relegated Sunday worship and other church-related activities to the sidelines of society, teens remain refreshingly open to Jesus as an influence in their lives,” Kinnaman said. “It doesn’t really matter where they are coming from, people are weary of the constant tension and division we see played out on the public stage and in our social media feeds, of hurtful rhetoric and of love with limits. But it seems that this coming generation still believes that there is a person who reminds us that there is a good and right way to live.”

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