Religion in America

November 25, 1994 • Volume 4, Issue 44
Will younger generations return to organized religion?
By Charles S. Clark


For the last three decades, church and synagogue membership has been mostly declining or stagnant. Experts trace the decline to the baby-boomers -- the 78 million Americans born from 1946-65. But now boomers are raising children themselves, and a surprising number who rejected religion have returned to organized worship. Churches and temples find themselves marketing faith to a population once known for its skepticism toward authority. But by emphasizing such attractions as child care and informal dress codes, religious bodies invite charges that they are watering down traditional faith. Parishioner- hungry congregations also seek to attract members of the “baby-bust” generation, now in their 20s. Unlike the boomers, they largely grew up with no religious grounding at all.

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