Teens and parents differ in other areas as well. Pew writes, “teens are far less likely than their parents to pray daily (27 percent of teens vs. 48 percent of parents), to say that religion is very important in their lives (24 percent vs. 43 percent) and to believe in God with absolute certainty (40 percent vs. 63 percent).”
Evangelical Teens Stand Out From Other Christian Teens
While nearly a third of the teens surveyed (32 percent) identify as religious “nones,” 63 percent of teens identify as some form of Christian (which Pew identifies as evangelical, mainline, and historically black Protestants, Catholic, Orthodox Christian, Mormon, Jehovah’s Witness, and other). Non-Christian faiths represent four percent of those surveyed, while one percent didn’t give an answer identifying their religious affiliation.
Teens who identify as evangelical (about 21 percent of respondents) differ from their Christian peers in at least four ways: religious importance, belief in God, religious service attendance, and prayer. Evangelical teens (48 percent) are far more likely to say religion is important in their lives compared to Catholics (27 percent), mainline Protestants (25 percent) and “nones” (2 percent) who say the same.
Additionally, evangelical teens attend church more often and pray more frequently than their peers do. Sixty-four percent of evangelical teens reported attending church weekly or more often and pray daily (51 percent). These teens also practice their religion with their families more often. Pew reports: “Eight-in-ten or more report that they often or sometimes say grace before meals with their family and talk with their family about religion. About half say they at least sometimes read religious scriptures with their family, and about nine-in-ten say they enjoy doing religious things with their family a lot (34 percent) or some (54 percent).”
Finally, evangelical teens report regularly feeling “a deep sense of spiritual peace” more than their Christian peers. Seven out of ten evangelical teens report this while 54 percent of Catholics and mainline Protestants say the same. Only 31 percent of unaffiliated teens say this.
There is much more to explore in the information obtained by Pew. Youth ministers and family pastors especially will find the information pertinent to their ministries. You can read the full report here.