Half of US teens and adults have experienced doubts about their religious beliefs at least “sometimes” in the past few years, a new survey has revealed.
Conducted by Barna Group, the study surveyed 2,005 US adults and teenagers aged 13-17 during a week in December 2022.
"Over half of teens and adults (the U.S. general population, ages 13+) report that they've experienced doubts about their religious beliefs at least sometimes (12 per cent frequently, 16 per cent occasionally, 24 per cent sometimes) in the past few years," the study stated.
Twenty-three per cent of practising Christians said they “never” experience doubts about their faith while eight per cent said they did so “frequently”.
It also found that, half of those experiencing doubts who are Christians or have a “Christian background” have gone through a “prolonged period of doubt at some point in their life”.
For many Christians, doubt is seen as a phase to “move through” to achieve certainty while those of no faith are more comfortable with doubt often seeing it as “something to be praised”.
"Interestingly, teens and adults of other faiths and especially those of no faith have more comfort with doubt, less often seeing it as something to be overcome — and even seeing it as something to be praised," the study said.
A study conducted by Barna in 2017 revealed that approximately 65 per cent of Christians in the United States acknowledged having doubts about their beliefs. Of this group, 40 per cent reported that they had doubts but were able to overcome them, whereas 26 per cent stated that they continue to experience doubt.