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Do Gen Zs still pray?

by RepublicAsia

GENERATION Z is said to be the least religious generation today. 

A survey from the Pew Research Center in 2024 consistently demonstrates a generational decline in religious affiliation, with each successive generation being less religious than its predecessors. 

The pattern is evident with Gen Zs having less attachment to religion than the Millenials. 

Gen Z has about a third identifying as having no religion, compared to 23%, 17%, and 11% among Generation X, baby boomers, and the Silent Generation, respectively. 

Church attendance rates, belief in God, prayer, bible-reading, and religious affiliation have consistently dropped over the decades, and more than any other generation, young adults today have access to different information and alternative views. 

Gen Zs grew up in a culture of self-awareness, freedom of expression, and choice. As never before, they have the freedom to choose their identity and preferences, especially in religious aspects. 

“Hindi (ako) naniniwala sa concept of God as taught in Catholicism because it seems illogical to me, pero I do believe in a “higher being” na wala ring evidence of existence. Hindi ko kasi ma-explain yung higher being na napaniwalaan ko kasi feeling ko, they are something beyond words and empirical evidence,” Jurhyss Arsen Natividad, 20, shared. 

Half empty, half full

When the interviewees were asked if they believe in God and if they pray, 20-year-old Francine Narzoles answered “50/50.”

She explained: “When I was a child, I always saw my grandmother praying. Sa kaniya ko na-adopt ang pagdadasal at paniniwala na may Diyos. However, as I grow older, may times na hindi ako naniniwala sa Kaniya. To be honest, one of the reasons kung bakit 50/50 ang sagot ko ay dahil sa Science. Sa Science, kailangan ng evidence diba. So this led me to question my religious beliefs. Na-question ko ang sarili ko kung totoo ba na may Diyos o fictional lamang.” 

However, despite a shaken standpoint, she still relies on God when she needs help and guidance. She prays to lift her burdens and problems in the hands of God. 

“Pero most of the time, kapag may kailangan lang talaga. Yung tipong hindi mo na kaya at wala ka nang mapagsabihan, mapapadasal ka na lang talaga,” said Francine.  

Being in two minds in this era seems a bit not surprising for individuals of the same generation because they understand the spiritual dealings of their own time, which may not be accepted by other generations. In comparison, generation Z does not share the same spiritual sentiments as Millennials.

Sunday is church day 

Non-religious does not yet mean atheist. Some young adults prefer a nominal affiliation to religion, such as celebrating the holidays but do not attend church services. 

Hannah Rose Kumar, 20, and John Cruz, 22, share the same sentiments about attending mass every Sunday. They do not regularly attend mass due to personal reasons like time and availability, and because of the people. 

“I don’t regularly attend mass, nagsisimba ako kapag feel ko. Isa siguro sa reasons ko kung bakit ‘di ako always nagsisimba kahit malapit ang bahay namin sa simbahan ay sa mga nakakasalamuha ko sa simbahan,” Cruz shared. 

Kumar agrees with this viewpoint. She explained that it’s not that she doesn’t want to or that she is feeling lazy; she still wants to go to church. 

“Minsan kapag may time ako nahihiya ako magsimba lalo na kapag naiisip ko na doon ako sa baranggay namin magsisimba,” she said.  

A plate of faith 

On the other end of the spectrum, despite the impression that Gen Zs are distant from religion and are religiously unaffiliated, there are still numerous young adults who hold their faith devotedly—their cups overflow. 

Having mentioned that the 22-year-old Cruz does not regularly attend church on Sundays, he still prays every night and regularly serves his religious organization. 

“I always pray before I sleep. Parang yun na yung official prayer time ko to thank God and pray for whatever I am praying for. I pray and I serve sa aking YFC community.” 

Meanwhile, 22-year-old Mary Joy Marang holds prayer every day and every week, and it has always been her go-to. 

“I have a habit of going to church every week. Sometimes when I can’t go to church, it feels like something is missing from my whole week. That’s why I always make sure to go to church and pray, even if it’s every Sunday. This is my starter pack to face the new week,” she said. 

Marang and Cruz are both members of the CFC-Youth For Christ organization in their respective local parishes. In order to be closer to God and deepen their faith, at young ages, they have been serving their community by evangelizing the youth. 

“I have been a member for five years already and am currently in the organization’s core group where my position is Community-Based Program Head. Through this organization, I became closer to God and my faith in Him deepened,” Marang shared. 

Now, the question this story leaves for all the Gen Zs to ponder is, “Do you still pray?” 

With reports from Cybil F. Castillo


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