Poll finds young religious Brits are committed to their faith but Christians lack confidence

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A new poll has found evidence of high levels of faith commitment among young religious people in the UK. 

The Whitestone poll was commissioned by the Institute for the Impact of Faith in Life (IIFL) and surveyed 2,064 UK adults on their attitudes to faith.

Religious young people aged 18 to 24 were more likely than religious over-65s to say that their faith significantly impacts their life (69% vs 51%). 

Nearly three quarters (72%) of religious young people said their faith was the only true religion, compared to around a third (35%) of religious over-65s. 

Over three quarters (78%) of religious youngsters said faith shaped their moral values, falling to just over two thirds (68%) among religious over-65s. 

Young religious Brits were also more likely to have friends with faiths or beliefs different to their own (76% vs 53%), and they were also more open to changing their minds about faith compared to older generations (45% vs 22%). 

Charlotte Littlewood, senior research associate for IIFL, said the results pointed to a "youth revival of faith".

"The results have shown that whilst legally and politically the UK has been on a general course of secularisation, British youth are more believing than those half a century their senior," she said.

"Faith is seen of higher value, significance and impact to Gen Z compared with previous generations. They are shown to be more seeking of God and are more zealous in their faith being that the majority of them believe their faith is the only true religion."

She added, "Overall we are seeing what appears to be a youth revival of faith whilst holding onto values of tolerance, perhaps some much needed good news in a time when the headlines are filled with news of increasing inter-religious tension." 

Further polling by the IIFL suggested a "crisis of confidence" among Christians though, with over a third (38%) preferring not to tell people about their faith, compared to 29% of Muslim respondents.

Only around a quarter of Christians (28%) were 'exclusivist' (believing their faith to be the only true religion), far lower than Muslims (83%), which the IIFL said indicated "high levels of cultural Christianity amongst this group in the UK".

Only half of Christians said their faith helped them find purpose in life compared to 88% of Muslims, 70% of Hindus and 80% of Buddhists, although among 'exclusivist' Christians this rose to 87%.

The poll also found declining appreciation for the role of Christianity in British culture, falling from 74% among over-65s, to less than half (46%) among 18 to 24 year olds.