Are Millennials Killing Evangelization?

Tags: Currents, Brooklyn, NY, Catholic Education, Faith, Queens, NY

By Emily Drooby

On Wednesday, three millennials prayed together and discussed their faith. They live and spread their faith on a daily basis, but not all millennials feel the same way.

Recent research suggests the latest addition to the millennial kill list is evangelization. Young people seemed to agree with the study commissioned by the Christian evangelization group, Alpha. Millennial, Danan Fleary, said, “I believe that everyone has their own opinions about religion.” While millennial, Nicole Carter, said, “Everybody has different faith so they may not relate to your faith so it’s not really something to talk about.”

The study showed about half of millennials questioned had objections to sharing personal beliefs about faith with people of other religions, in the hope of converting them. With other generational groups, the numbers were smaller; with GenX it was 27 percent, Boomers it was 19 percent and the group they called Elders was 20 percent.

That same research says millennials are able to speak knowledgeably about their faith, so why don’t they feel comfortable doing it?

Diego Araujo, a Brooklyn youth and young adult minister, thinks it could be from the culture of tolerance millennials grew up in.

Araujo explained, “We don’t infringe on others freedoms, we don’t want to offend anyone and it’s that sensitivity that had led people to tip-toe around their faith, they themselves might have a very secure relationship with Jesus Christ but they would be hesitant to share it, but I bet if they have a new workout routine or they found a new keto diet, they would be more than happy to ‘social media it’ everywhere.”

Youth minister Kathleen Woods believes it’s a different issue. Woods explained, “Young adults our age or even our youth, not that they fear it but they don’t express interest in it, they don’t want to take time to deepen their relationship with God. That’s quite difficult when it’s the one true basis thing we need today.”

While Paul Morisi, the director of youth and young adult faith formation for the Diocese of Brooklyn doesn’t see the research numbers supported in the actions of millennials. Morisi said, “I think it’s quite the opposite, I think a lot of our life blood and our faith is coming from millennials. Our young adults that are now in the workforce that are spreading the gospel to those that they work with I think are a great witness to the faith.”

Morisi explained it’s the job of dioceses and parishes to encourage people, through faith formation programs, to know their faith and speak about it.