RELIGION is largely irrelevant to most young people, who rely instead on a "secular trinity" of themselves, their family and friends to give meaning to their lives, it has been claimed.
A study for a book published by the Church of England concludes that people born after 1982 -- Generation Y -- have only a "faded cultural memory" of Christianity.
Fewer than one-in-five young people believe in a God "who created the world and hears my prayers" and teenagers were more likely to believe in the "nicer" parts of religious doctrine than those about the devil and punishment.
Pop songs were played at memorial services "because the young congregation did not know any hymns".
The findings are contained in a new book, 'The Faith of Generation Y', whose authors include Sylvia Collins-Mayo, a sociologist, and the Rt Rev Christopher Cocksworth, the Bishop of Coventry.
For many young people religious observance extended no further than praying in their bedrooms during moments of crisis on a "need-to-believe basis". (© Daily Telegraph, London)