05/01/2009 - “Most people are religious because they’re raised to be. They’re indoctrinated by their parents.”
So goes the rationale of my nonreligious friends.
Maybe, but a study entitled “Faith in Flux” issued this week by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life questioned nearly 3,000 people and found that most children raised unaffiliated with a religion later chose to join one. Indoctrination be damned. By contrast, only 14 percent of those raised Catholic and 13 percent of those raised Protestant later became unaffiliated.
(It should be noted that about a quarter of the unaffiliated identified as atheist or agnostic, and the rest said that they had no particular religion.)
So what was the reason for this flight of the unchurched to churches?
Read the full op-ed Defecting to Faith on the New York Times' Web site.