Lack of biblical orientation among kids could extinguish Christianity in America, researcher warns

America’s preteens are not being raised in an environment that honors the Bible or presents its message, researcher George Barna said Tuesday. 

The lack of such spiritual formation means “we are on the precipice of Christian invisibility,” he said. 

Just 21% of preteens believe there are “absolute moral truths that that “are unchanging and knowable,”  Mr. Barna‘s research revealed, while only one in four agree the Bible is the true word of God.

Mr. Barna, who heads the Cultural Research Center at Arizona Christian University, says the foundational beliefs held by today’s 8- to 12-year-olds have them on track to abandon biblical Christianity in record numbers.

Only 60% of preteens have read any part of the Bible, he said. 

According to Mr. Barna, “Children are intellectual and spiritual sponges in their preteen years. They are desperately trying to make sense of the world, their identity, their purpose and how to live a meaningful and satisfying life.”

The new data is the latest set of results from studies culminating in Mr. Barna’s 2023 book, “Raising Spiritual Champions: Nurturing Your Child’s Heart, Mind and Soul.” Last September, the longtime researcher of evangelical culture said parents who “outsource” their children’s spiritual development to others are reaping children without a biblical worldview.

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