A long and rather sobering article on the Huffington Post site about religious belief and practice among Generation Y millennials in Canada starts out with an annoying anecdote of a young lesbian who finds she has to leave her Pentecostal church, but then we get to this part:
An exclusive survey of 1,004 Canadian millennials conducted for The Huffington Post Canada found 51 per cent of respondents said they never attend a religious institution. Just 12 per cent said they attend weekly, with attendance highest among millennials in central Canada (23 per cent) and lowest in Quebec (3 per cent).
Weekly attendance was most common among Christian denominations, followed by Jews and Muslims, the Abacus Data survey, conducted Oct. 23-25, found.
In 2005, Statistics Canada found that 33 per cent of Canadians aged 15 to 24 had never attended a religious institution, compared with 25 per cent in 1985.
“What we’re seeing … is that there is a significant percentage of Canadian teens and young adults who are abandoning religious orientations after being involved in them as children,” said James Penner, an author and sociologist based in Lethbridge, Alta.
In his 2012 report Hemorrhaging Faith, which analyzes why and when young Christian Canadians leave and return to church, Penner found that, for every three young people who attended church as a child in the 1980s and 90s, only one regularly attends now.
Moreover, he found that only 23 per cent of young Canadian Christians are “religious engagers,” meaning they still associate with the Christian tradition.