Study: Younger Jews not less religious than their elders

Study finds younger Jews are just as religious as older Jews - and Israel is the least religious country in the Middle East.

Guy Cohen ,

Jew prays at the Western Wall
Jew prays at the Western Wall

On average, Israeli and US Jews younger than 40 years of age are no less religious than those over 40 years of age, a Pew study found.

This held true despite the fact that around the globe, younger people tend to be less religious, on average, than their parents.

The study found that in 71 of the 105 countries examined, younger adults prayed less than older adults. This held true for Muslims, Christians, and Hindus, in the Americas, most of Asia and Europe, as well as in India and other areas. However, when it came to Jews, the gap in religiosity between those over and under 40 did not exist.

Researchers explained that the results are connected to Orthodox Jews' high birthrate in both Israel and the US.

"Orthodox Jews - who tend to have more children - are a growing sector in both Jewish populations, and therefore account for a larger number of younger Jews," they said.

The study measured religiosity in four ways: Daily prayers, attendance at a house of worship, belonging to a religious group, and seeing religion as something which is "very important."

It also found that Israel is the least religious country in the Middle East and North Africa, where over 50% of the citizens pray daily - in every country except Israel, where just 27% pray daily, 30% attend a place of worship, and a similar percentage believe that religion is "very important."