A new study found that religious millennials who engage with digital religion say their faith has been enriched with technology.
The study, "Digital Religion Among U.S. and Canadian Millennial Adults," was recently published in the Review of Religious Research.
Millennials included those born from 1994 to 2001. The data in the study is from 2019 and does not reflect how the COVID-19 pandemic impacted digital use among millennials.
"As such, they are true first truly digital natives in North America, in that they were raised since childhood with the digital world at their fingertips," said University of Waterloo sociology professor Sarah Wilkins-Laflamme.
The study found that some 29 percent of Canadian millennials reported consuming religious or spiritual digital content at least once a month. In the U.S., that number is 41 percent.
"We know that more and more people are turning toward digital mediums for spirituality such as chat groups with pastors, online sermons and religious content on social media," Wilkins-Laflamme said in a statement to The Christian Post. "We've found that while digital religion isn't necessarily attracting a lot of new millennials to participate, it is making the experience of those already involved richer."
The study also found that most U.S. and Canadian millennials who engage with digital religion at least once a month also attend at least one in-person religious or spiritual activity monthly.
"In other words, 25 percent of millennial respondents across both countries take part in less conventional spiritual or religious activities at least once a month, and 11 percent include a digital component to these activities. Another 25 percent pair these frequent less conventional religious and spiritual activities with monthly or more frequent religious service attendance, among whom almost all include a digital component," the study noted.
Only 7 percent said they participate in conventional religious service attendance at least once a month without other digital religious and spiritual activities.
"We see a lot of overlap between digital religious and spiritual content consumption and religious service attendance among respondents. This said, it is also important to note that there is a significant minority of millennials who seem to do digital religion away from organized religion," the study said.
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Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.