On Air
0:00
0:00
Open In Popup
MPR News

Will Americans continue to lose faith in organized religion?

Share story

Why are so many young people abandoning religious institutions? 

In 2015 Pew Research found that a significant number of millennials don't identify with one specific faith community. Minnesota-based St. Mary's Press found that disaffiliation begins as early as age 13.

Last week, MPR News host Kerri Miller went to Baltimore to moderate a discussion about why young people feel so detached from religious institutions, and whether the leaders of those religious communities notice that they're losing the next generation.

The audience included people of different ages, from different backgrounds and many with differing faith — including several young people who had given up on religion. 

The panel was diverse, too. It featured: 

• Jenan Mohajir, director of student leadership at Interfaith Youth Core in Chicago.

•  Father Joe Muth, a Catholic priest at St. Matthew Church in Baltimore.

• Beatriz Mendivil, a student with a background in the Catholic faith who has left her faith community.

• Josh Packard, a sociologist at the University of Northern Colorado and author of the recent book, "Church Refugees."

 The event was recorded live in Baltimore. MPR News aired a shortened version of the discussion. Use the audio player above to hear the full conversation.