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Spiritual openness grows among young people during pandemic

Young people aged 18-34 years old are becoming increasingly open to faith, prayer and the Bible during the pandemic, a new study has found. 

The survey conducted by Savanta ComRes and commissioned by YourNeighbour, found that more than 2 in 5 (46%) 18-34 year olds in the UK have prayed more often since the start of the pandemic, and that one third (31%) have read the Bible more often.

The study which sampled 2,065 respondents and was conducted as part of the YourNeighbour Give Hope campaign running throughout Lent, also found that three in 10 young people (29%) 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 says, “While much of the focus of the impact of coronavirus has rightly been on the elderly and vulnerable, young people are facing indirect but significant effects on their mental wellbeing, their family’s finances and their education and job prospects. 

“The study shows that many have found a sense of comfort and purpose in faith and prayer, and have been able to navigate some of the uncertainty by developing and investing more deliberately into their spiritual lives.”

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)

Stewart McCulloch, CEO of Stewardship, partners with YourNeighbour for the Give Hope Campaign, adds, “In this study we have seen that young people have not only engaged with churches more during the pandemic, but also that more than one in four have been more likely to give more than they had previously to the work local churches are doing to  support the practical and spiritual needs of their communities. 

“Through Give Hope we have celebrated those who have given their time, finances and skills through local churches – particularly the amazingly sacrificial generosity shown by so many over the past 12 months of this crisis.”

For more information about the YourNeighbour initiative and Give Hope, including the vaccine campaign, go to www.yourneighbour.org.

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