LOSING THEIR RELIGION (a slightly-edited News briefing released by Penguin to help promote the new novel Kevin Brooks, Killing God)
Nearly two thirds of teenagers don't believe in God, new research revealed today (Mon)...
A massive 66 per cent of teens reckon God doesn't exist, 50 per cent have never prayed and 16 per cent have never been to church.
Teenagers even say family, friends, money, music and even reality television are more important than religion.
Six out of ten 10 kids (59 per cent) believe religion 'has a negative influence on the world'.
The study of 1,000 teenagers aged 13 to 18 was carried out by Penguin books to mark this week's publication of controversial novel 'Killing God' by Kevin Brooks. The book is about a 15-year-old girl who both questions and rages against the existence of God.
Brooks said: ''I can't say I am surprised by the teenagers' responses. Part of the reason that I wrote Killing God was that I wanted to explore the personal attitudes of young people today, especially those with troubled lives, towards organised religion and the traditional concept of God. How can the moralities of an ancient religion relate to the tragedies and disorders of today's broken world? And why do some people turn to God for help while others take comfort in drugs and alcohol? These are just some of the questions I wanted to consider... And I wasn't looking for answers.''
The research also found 55 per cent of young people are not bothered about religion and 60 per cent only go to church for a wedding or christening.
Only three out of 10 teenagers believe in an afterlife and 41 per cent believe that nothing happens to your body when you die, but one in 10 reckon they come back as an animal or another human being.
Nearly half (47 per cent) believe organised religion has no place in today's world. And six in 10 don't think Religious Studies should be compulsory in schools even though only 39 per cent rated their knowledge about religion to be above average.
The south east was unveiled as the region with the least faith, with only 28 per cent believing there is such a thing as a god. Only a third of London teens believed in a god.
Over 30 per cent said they prayed when they were worried something bad was going to happen and a heart-warming 91 per cent agree they should treat others the way they wish to be treated themselves.