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Staggering number of young people leave religion over gay rights

Staggering number of young people leave religion over gay rights

A staggering number of young people have left their religion over the negative treatment of gays, a new survey has found.

While it is widely recognized younger people are more likely to be atheist than their elders, this is one of the first surveys to ask why Americans under 34 are less religious.

Released today by the Public Religion Research, it found nearly one third of millenials left the faith as they grew up because of ‘negative teachings’ or ‘negative treatment’ related to gays and lesbians.

‘While many churches and people in the pews have been moving away from their opposition to LGBT rights over the last decade, this new research provides further evidence that negative teachings on this issue have hurt churches’ ability to attract and retain young people,’ PRRI CEO Robert P. Jones said.

17% of US adults aged 18 and 33 said negativity around LGBTI issues in religion was ‘somewhat important’ to their departure, while 14% said it was a ‘very important’ factor.

Over half of Americans, 58%, say religious groups are ‘alienating young adults by being too judgmental on gay and lesbian issues’.

Among younger people, that statistic jumps to 70%.