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| Photo courtesy of Chad H Webb The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has long provided its young members with opportunities to study and engage their faith.

In addition to attending Sunday services, they can attend weekday youth activities and volunteer opportunities, participate in church-sponsored youth athletics and attend seminary classes, in which high schoolers discuss scripture and doctrine.

These reasons provide insights into young people's religious experiences, said Daniel Cox, PRRI's research director.

They show that parents and church leaders may need to be more strategic in how they teach and practice faith in front of teenagers.

CUMC has tried to live out this advice in a variety of ways, Conrad said.

The 30 to 40 middle and high schoolers in youth group can join a worship band, ring hand bells or sit with friends after church and make blankets for the homeless community.

Youth programs and parenting routines designed to pass on religious practice appear to be failing, and 1 in 4 Americans are considered nones today, compared with 12 percent 20 years ago, PRRI reported.

Similarly, Vanitta Conrad, CUMC's director of Christian education, said the teenagers she works with often aren't prepared to make serious decisions about faith.

They are busy worrying about school assignments and their social lives.

It's a tall order to expect children to become religious and be interested in theology, history and religious culture without more of a strong push from parents and other authority figures.

– Daniel Cox, Public Religion Research Institute's research director On any given Sunday around a.m., a handful of college students sip coffee and chat in Christ United Methodist Church's youth room, a catch-all space for praise band equipment, kitchen supplies and an air hockey table.

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