For millennials and even Gen Xers, the most common religion is no religion at all. The “nones” — those who don’t claim any specific religious tradition — make up 44 percent of the 18-29 age group, and almost that large a percentage of those who are 30-44.
Religious institutions across the board are noticing the exodus — including the normally stable Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. New research shows millennial Mormons are leaving the church at a much higher rate than previous generations. The question is: Why?
Religion columnist and LDS member Jana Riess set out to uncover the answer. Research for her new book “The Next Mormons” shows that tensions between the church’s conservative values and millennial’s’ commitment to individualism and pluralism is too high, leaving young Mormons feeling they have little choice but to walk away from their faith.
As part of our continuing Women of Faith series, Kerri Miller spoke to Riess about a church trying to shepherd its young members through traditional faith and a rapidly changing culture.
Jana Riess, senior columnist for Religion News Service and the author of the new book “The Next Mormons: The Rising Generation of Latter-day Saints”
To listen to the full conversation you can use the audio player above.
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