Contemporary and Social Issues

The Youth Have Taken Over… In Prayer…?


Sarmad Naveed, Canada

It’s said that the youth are the leaders of tomorrow… 

But what if they’re already leading the world now?

In the modern era, prayer and spirituality are often thought to be the domain of older people, with the youth perhaps not being as interested. 

But according to a new study, it seems the youth have taken over when it comes to prayer. 

A survey conducted by Savanta ComRes shows that the younger generation is more likely to pray than those who are older. 51% of those aged 18-34 say they’re likely to pray at least once a month, as compared to 24% of the over 55’s. 

The associate director of the polling company pointed out that this can be attributed to the increased access to religious services online during the pandemic. 

This shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, as Forbes reported that online content consumption doubled in 2020.

Specifically among the youth, in what’s being called ‘the Covid Effect,’ The New York Times has reported that there’s been a steady increase in the amount of time youth are spending on the internet over the course of the pandemic.

Perhaps the most fascinating statistic is that 40% of people have started using the internet in new ways during the pandemic. 

The Review of Religions learned about one of these ways after speaking to a rabbi, a priest and an imam at the beginning of the pandemic. They explained that religious and prayer services largely moved online during the pandemic, in some cases making them more accessible for those spending so much time online.  

So, with the increase in internet usage and the increased online religious presence, the youth seem to be taking advantage when it comes to prayer. Perhaps the youth are on to something; at a time when not much has made sense in the world, maybe this is the greatest lesson to be taken away – a relationship with God.

During the pandemic, the Caliph of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community wrote letters to world leaders, in which he stated that the pandemic serves as, ‘a glaring message to turn towards God Almighty.’ 

According to statistics, the youth have taken the lead in this regard. 

After all, as the saying goes:

‘Nations cannot be reformed without the reformation of the youth.’

About the Author: Sarmad Naveed is an Imam of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community who graduated from the Ahmadiyya Institute for Languages and Theology in Canada. He serves on the Editorial Board of The Review of Religions and coordinates the Facts from Fiction section. He has also appeared as a panelist and host of programmes on Muslim Television Ahmadiyya (MTA) such as ‘Ahmadiyyat: Roots to Branches.’