Saturday, April 7, 2012

Number of Classmates Who Kept the Same Faith

A minister said in a sermon recently that, in his experience, fewer than one in ten children stay faithful to the religion in which I was raised. I had always thought the numbers more like one in two. However, with the church that I grew up in having completely overhauled its doctrinal beliefs and then subsequently splitting apart, I thought indeed among my generation--which was in its early twenties at the time--the number might be one in three. So I figured I'd go back and check out my old high school yearbook (my high school was affiliated with the church), and try to figure out just how many still follow the old ways.

I was thinking I wouldn't know the status of many--and I don't. But I have more knowledge than I thought I might--rumors of where people have gone, occasional run-ins at church activities (rare these days, since we've all scattered into different places, both church-wise and state-wise), some contacts on Facebook, or other online networks. So here it is, a rundown on those who still hold to the old faith:

The graphs pretty much confirm what I thought. If my guesses are correct, than 40 percent of the students in my class stayed with the religion in which they were raised. On a most liberal scale, the percent might be as high as 63 percent (which I highly doubt), but on the most conservative, the number would be around 21 percent--still not anywhere as slim as what this minister estimated.

That said, we're talking about children who went to a religious school. That could have an affect on how many stick with the religion, though the effect might be both positive (knowing more about the faith than kids gaining a secular education) and negative (being disgusted by some actions of those at the school such that their faith in the religion is damaged). Years ago, one minister quoted some statistic that children of ministers were more likely (possibly twice as likely) to stay part of the religion; if this is true, then it would follow that the effect of a religious school would generally be more positive than negative.

No comments:

Post a Comment