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The Worldwide Abandonment of Organized Religion and Uprise In "Spirituality"


    In the United States alone, many people are beginning to move away from organized religion and following its traditions to a more individual experience by focusing on spirituality instead. In a 2017 report by the Pew Research Center, researchers found out that more Americans have identified themselves as belonging to the “spiritual but not religious” demographic in the past few years. Though the term ‘spiritual’ in itself is a broad identifier that can vary from one person to another, there is a recurring trend that can be found — people are starting to create a version of a faith in God that they feel is the best for their circumstances in life. 

Matthew Hedstrom, a University of Virginia professor who teaches religion, explains that more believers are starting to move away from the “strict” traditions imposed by organized religion on how to practice their faith, he said, “The word “church” means you need to put on uncomfortable shoes, sit up straight, and listen to boring, old-fashioned hymns. Spirituality is seen as a larger, freer arena to explore big questions.” It’s safe to say that the current generation of spiritual followers want to explore their faith in God in a fuller way than what organized religion can offer.

For most people, religion is a part of their identity which was most of the time imposed by family and relatives at a very early age. The emergence of the spiritual-but-not-religious became a relief for people who do not necessarily conform to the practices of the religion they belong to but still want to express their faith in their own unique way. 

The abandonment of organized religion for spirituality opens the opportunity for more people to discover their faith in a higher power more realistically. Spirituality is on the rise because it gives people the freedom to think and act for themselves on how they would approach the topic of faith in their lives. Being a religious person does not offer the same amount of leniency that being a spiritual one offers. Being spiritual is an experimental process that helps a person shape his beliefs for the better through a fulfilling personal experience.

By Neil Gregorio

Neil Gregorio is a graduating university student who writes as a hobby; when he is away from the keyboard, he spends his time watching Japanese animated shows and jamming out to his favorite rock music.



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