Young people drifting away from religion
New figures concerning the religiosity of Europe’s young people have been published in a report prepared by Stephen Bullivant for the European Council of [Catholic] Bishops.
They are based on data from the European Social Survey 2014-16 and show that in the UK a majority of the adult population, and 70% of young people (16-29), identify as having no religion. Jim Duncan, a Humanist, said: “These figures show the privileged place of religion in our system of government to be grossly out of step with the views of the governed.”
He added: “In Scotland, councils are required to appoint three religious representatives (one Church of Scotland representative, one Catholic Church representative, and one other) to their education committee, with full voting rights. Furthermore, both the Church of Scotland and the Catholic Church are represented on the General Teaching Council. These policies are absurd and unrepresentative of the views of the young people that the educational system is there to serve, and lead to them being subjected to religious experiences with which they do not agree and from which they are not even allowed to opt themselves out. Our young people deserve to be taken seriously. If we want them to vote, and take their full part in civic life, we need to show respect for their opinions. Disentangling religious institutions from the State would be a good start.”