Data from a new Barna poll commissioned by Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), a prominent faith-based advocacy, training, and legal fund, reveals a majority of practicing Millennial Christians fear the state of religious freedom in America is worse off than a decade ago.
The Barna poll, which gathered its findings from a representative sample of 1,000 U.S. adults 18-years-old and older, also discovered:
- 56 percent of practicing Millennial Christians expressed they are “very concerned” about the state of religious freedom in America, compared to just 19 percent in 2012.
- Not just Millennials, but concern for religious freedom among Christians in general has nearly doubled from 19 percent in 2012 to 32 percent in 2015.
- 41 percent of Americans in general believe religious freedom is worse off than 10 years ago, compared to 33 percent in 2012.
- Millennials alongside Generation X, express the most concern over the direction of religious freedom in America.
“It makes sense that Millennials have greater concerns about the loss of religious freedom, as the erosion of freedom has increased in our lifetime more rapidly than in any generation before us,” said Alison Howard, ADF’s Director of Alliance Relations, in a recent press release.
Howard, a practicing Millennial Christian herself, explained, “We’ve grown up seeing bakers, photographers, CEOs, florists, sportscasters, professors, and fire chiefs get attacked and pushed out of their careers because of their peacefully-expressed moral convictions. We’ve seen the consequences of heavy-handed government and reckless court rulings on individuals, families, businesses, and our most precious freedoms.”
Indeed, the recent events Howard eludes to include Florist Barronelle Stutzman, bakery owners Melissa and Aaron Klein, and wedding photographer Elane Huguenin who were all sued for declining to cater same-sex “wedding” ceremonies. Of course, must never forget Atlanta’s distinguished Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran, who was fired from his job for publishing a Bible study that affirmed traditional marriage.
Despite the discouraging circumstances surrounding domestic religious freedom, the ADF-commissioned Barna poll offers a glimmer of hope.
Among the more interesting poll findings, Christian Millennials are far more likely than members of other generations say they would take action and support non-profit organization whose sole mission is to protect the religious freedoms of Christians. For a generation labeled, “entitled, lazy, narcissistic and addicted to social media,” this sentiment among my own peers is simply inspiring.
As Howard said, “These findings reveal hope that the next generation of leaders will understand the need to always respect our basic freedoms and for common-sense accommodations for people of faith when necessary.”