The much-maligned Generation X across the globe is more religious than it was perceived to be, says a study conducted by a leading international social research body - the German Bertelsmann Foundation.

The comprehensive research on religions across the world reveals that young adults in India and other developing countries are deeply religious: “Three out of four of the respondents – young adults – in countries such as India, Morocco and Turkey pray at least once a day.”

Spanning 21 countries, the study surveyed 21,000 people to find out the significance of religion in the main cultures of the world. Worldwide more than four out of five young adults are religious and almost half are deeply religious. “Only 13 per cent have no appreciation for God or faith in general,” it adds.

However, there are large differences between individual countries and among various denominations. Whereas youngsters in Islamic States and developing countries in particular are deeply religious, young Christians in Europe especially are comparatively unreligious.

The diverging picture of the religiousness of young people in different countries and denominations is also reflected in their religious practices. Ninety per cent of young adults in devout countries such as Nigeria and Guatemala pray at least once a day, and three out of four of the respondents in countries such as India, Morocco and Turkey do likewise. In contrast, daily prayer is no longer a common practice among young Europeans. In France, just 9 per cent of young adults pray daily, in Russia the figure is 8 per cent, and only around 7 per cent of young Australians do daily prayers.

The great exception among the Western industrialised countries is the United States which is home to many more religious people than most other Western countries.

Staff Reporter