It is not easy for a Mormon to publicly renounce his or her faith. This article shares the story of four young Mormons who realized that they did not believe during or soon after they finished their obligatory missionary work. The author of the article Greg Wilcox says that this disenchantment with religion is part of a more general trend.
A 2010 article in Christianity Today, citing various studies, says that the percentage of Americans claiming “no religion” doubled in about two decades, up from 8.1 percent in 1990 to 15 percent in 2008. A substantial 22 percent of 18- to 29-year-olds claimed no religion, up from 11 percent in 1990. Also, 73 percent of these younger people came from religious homes.
The same article makes reference to the research of Robert Putnam and David E. Campbell, authors of a 2010 study called “American Grace: How Religion Divides and Unites Us,” which shows that the younger generation is dropping out of religion at five to six times the historic rate. [My emphasis-MS]
This adds to the evidence supporting my (admittedly minority) view that, despite appearances, religion is in serious danger of collapse. It is not that it will completely disappear but that it will become like astrology, largely irrelevant, viewed with amusement by most, but still believed in by an increasingly small minority.
Although the story is about loss of Mormon faith, I suspect that the experiences recounted are more generally applicable. The stories are quite poignant in describing the initial feelings of loss and loneliness before they found that they were not alone and joined with others in their same situation.
(Via Machines Like Us.)