In Search Of Sacred Spaces: How Gen Z & Millennials Are Replacing Belief Systems With Support Systems

For centuries, when faced with incomprehensibly trying times, humans so often have turned to religion and spirituality to find guidance through the storm. Throughout history, major moments of crisis have led to surges in spiritual practice or the emergence of leaders in faith calling upon higher powers to see us through.

  • After the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, the number of people (specifically young people) reading the Bible increased along with expressed enthusiasm for meditation and spiritual growth.*
  • During the Persian Gulf War, 6 in 10 Americans reported praying more than they usually do.*
  • Ten days post-September 11th, the number of people frequently attending church services was up 6%.*

However, spirituality and religion is complex for Millennials and Gen Z today. Nearly half agree with the statement “people can believe in religion, spirituality, and occult practices all at the same time.”** While past generations would look to religious ideals to help them make sense of crisis, young consumers are having a harder time figuring out where, or whom, to turn to right now. Just 30% of 18-34-year-olds say the pandemic has made them more spiritual or religious—yet 81% have participated in virtual spiritual or religious activities at home during this time.*** It’s this inner conflict that fuels their search for a support system, and pushes them to explore ways to understand not only themselves, but also the world around them.

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In Search Of Sacred Spaces: How Gen Z & Millennials Are Replacing Belief Systems With Support Systems is part of Fullscreen’s new feature Culture Hot Takes from the Cultural Forecasting team, where we look at trends at the intersection of culture, entertainment, and brand intelligence, giving brands a glimpse of what’s new and next and how to capitalize on these key shifts.

The Fullscreen Culture Report takes an even deeper look at trends among young consumers and how brands can engage with them.

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* Gallup’s Index of Leading Religious Indicators
** Fullscreen Culture Report Summer 2019: The Social Media Hangover (N=504, 18-34-year-olds, May 2019)
*** Fullscreen Spirituality Survey (N=419, 18-34-year-olds, May 2020)