While many parts of the Western world are worried that their young people are turning away from religion, Africa seems to face an opposite reality: its youth is highly religious. Some young Africans are so passionate about religion that they often go beyond the interest of their elders.
In one country, this interest has been captured by research. According to a global analysis, Ghana is one of the two countries in the world and the only country in Africa where young people are more religious than their elders.
According to the Washington-based Pew Research Center’s recent report, “Age Differences Between World Religions,” in 46 out of 106 countries, people aged 18 to 39 are less likely to say that religion is very important to them as adults over 40 years old. In only two countries, Ghana and the former Soviet Republic of Georgia, the opposite is true.
Although Ghanaians are generally very religious, their young people are even more religious. On the one hand, Ghanaian youth are more likely to identify with a religious group. They are also more likely to view religion as very important in their lives than their elders.
“In Ghana, where young adults are also more likely to be affiliated, 91% of young adults say religion is very important in their lives, compared to 85% of older adults,” says Pew.
Unlike Ghana, most young people in the world have turned away from religion. This cuts across various religious and economic classes.
Why? Researchers say people are turning to religion as they age and face mortality. In addition, economic progress means that people are becoming less religious.
“Every generation in a constantly developing society would be less religious than the last, which would explain why young adults are less religious than their elders at one point,” says Pew.