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UK News

Young people more likely than other age groups to pray and read the bible during the pandemic

by Chantalle Edmunds

A new poll has found a rise in spiritual openness among young people during the pandemic.

The survey, conducted by Savanta ComRes and commissioned by YourNeighbour, found that more than 2 in 5 18-34 year olds in the UK have prayed more often since the start of the pandemic and that one third has read the Bible more often.

The study involved 2,065 respondents and was conducted as part of the YourNeighbour Give Hope campaign running throughout Lent. It also found that three in ten young people have attended church more often during the Covid pandemic and a similar proportion, 31%, have given more financially to community work organised by churches.

Dr Russell Rook, the Co-founder of YourNeighbour told Premier:

"One thing we wanted to know was had {lockdown} had an impact on young people in terms of their spirituality. Had that made young people more open to God more interested in faith more willing to explore areas of spiritual life and spiritual community. And the truth is, it has you know, two in five, young people have been praying more, 31% of young people have looked in the Bible to try and see if there's some useful advice and guidance there. 29% of young people have tried out church online, maybe they wouldn't have gone to church down the end of the road, but they felt they can do it on their laptop, or on their phone or on their iPad. And so interestingly, while it has been a really tough time for young people, it seems also to have been a really positive time, in terms of young people turning to God, and the church for help and advice and to make a contribution."

Dr Rook added there are ways of ensuring the momentum can continue:

"I think that's where the challenge comes from those of us in the church to do something. So at yourneighbor.org, we're running this give hope campaign, and part of that is helping Christians across the country to support initiatives that local churches are running, to reach out to young people and to engage young people. And so we'd encourage everyone to go to yourneighbour org and find out if there's a project there that excites them that they can support, which is all about churches, reaching young people in their community, who may be vulnerable, who may be struggling, who may be looking for the church's help and support right now. And we believe if we invest in the right way, and if churches gear up to be a place that offers genuine care and support for young people, we will see more young people coming into church and coming into faith."

Other findings: The survey found that young people (46%) were more likely than older generations to have prayed more often - 35-54 year olds (28%) and 55+ year olds (15%), were also more likely to have read the Bible more often - 31% (18-34 year olds) versus 16% (35-54 year olds) and 65% (55+ year olds), and were more likely to have attended church more often during the pandemic 29% (18-34 year olds) versus 13% (35-54 year olds) and 7% (55+ year olds).

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