The poll, conducted in April by the Pew Research Center, showed that 31 percent of respondents under the age of 30 have doubts about the existence of God, compared to 9 percent of those polled who were 65 or older.
Take note of how that compares with older generations of Americans. The rise of young people turning away from religion seems to be affecting Christianity the most, out of the major religions, as a New York Times article highlights:
Life in Deep Ellum is part of a wave of experimentation around the country by evangelicals to reinvent “church” in an increasingly secular culture, and it comes as the megachurch boom of recent decades, with stadium seating for huge crowds, Jumbotrons and smoke machines, faces strong headwinds. A national decline in church attendance, the struggling economy and the challenges of marketing to millennials have all led to the need for new approaches.
I noted in Generation Y To Church: "Bye" that the current approach doesn't work. The bigger disaster for these churches, which will continue the trend of Millennials abandoning church, is that they've failed with young men. One marketing note that I've always observed is that women generally follow men (in specific areas, of which Protestantism belongs), not vice versa. But few Christian churches have caught this memo (the irony here being that the churches which have done well bringing men to them, typically have done well as congregations - vice versa has not been true).
Pertinent Blog Note:
Last year, I interviewed Dr. Thomas White on young men in Protestant churches to provide a perspective on why a branch of Judeo-Christianity is struggling with a particular demographic. On March 15th, I interviewed Hemant Mehta of the Friendly Atheist to provide a secular perspective on the Millennial generation and how it sees atheism.
Even with new marketing gimmicks and ideas, similar to Europe, Christianity may be seeing its popularity in the United States decline permanently. Like in physics, once the momentum is against you, it's hard to reverse the power - and these marketing ideas, while short term quick-fixes, don't deal with the main issue: many in Generation Y don't see the value in Christianity.