A new study has revealed that divorce is a major reason for why many millennials have left the church.
Boundless.org notes that there are a number of factors millennials often name when explaining why they have left church and the Christian faith, including the church’s stance on sexuality, science, or politics, but one factor that is often overlooked is divorce.
A recent study from the Public Religion Research Institute has revealed:
“Americans who were raised by divorced parents are less likely than children whose parents were married during most of their childhood to report attending religious services at least once per week (21% vs. 34%, respectively). This childhood divorce gap is also evident even among Americans who continue to be religiously affiliated. Roughly three in ten (31%) religious Americans who were brought up by divorced parents say they attend religious services at least once a week, compared to 43% of religious Americans who were raised by married parents.”
According to the Boundless article, this speaks to the church’s failure to minister to “some of our most vulnerable and innocent members.”
An article in The Washington Post quotes Andrew Root, a college professor who has written a book on the spiritual consequences of divorce for children:
“Root said churches are not doing enough to speak directly to the concerns of children in those situations, so the kids lose faith in the ability of the church to help them. He said that when the divorce rate climbed in the 1980s, many members of the clergy, especially mainline Protestant pastors, stopped speaking out against divorce so as not to alienate struggling congregants. But by going silent on the subject, they didn’t offer any comfort to the kids.”