Youth and Religion: Religious Institutions response to the Changing Youth Dynamics and how that influence the youth world view
Religious institutions have a key role in shaping the youths world view but that depends on how they respond to the changing youths dynamics. In order to positively influence the youths world view, the religious institutions must review their perception of the youths, the must reflect on the changing landscape of youths culture, they must understand in-depth the underlying issues affecting the youths, they must re-think their formation approach to the youths, they must understand the position of the youths in peace and security, in political discourse, in environment governance among others.
Religious institutions Perception of the youths
- The argument: Perception determines the relationship. If an institution that aims at informing, motivating the youths perceives them as hasty, incorrigible, incapable of tasks etc. the relationship will surely be compromised.
- Again there is no general view of religious institutions perception towards the youths but, the paper only insist that the past relationship have been compromised based on the negative perception of the youths.
- Religious institutions must learn to believe in the youths as a way to support them to grow.
Religious institutions and the Changing Landscape of Youth Culture
- The argument here is that the youths seem to be on the run, looking for institutions that are more appealing to them. Some of their arguments are that the religious institutions are so traditional, rigid, non-practical and the list continues.
- Such views on religion have soared the relationship leading youths to look for more appealing institutions.
- The question that this paper asks is whether there is a way in which religious approaches could be adjusted to fit the quest for young people. My answer to this question is yes; faith can be taught through sports, through art, among others. The big question is how many religious institutions are daring the new trends that are more youths friendly? I guess not so many.
Religious institutions response to youth Challenges
- A friend in need is a friend indeed
- The youths have been hit by the hardest challenges before and in the post twin year Covid situation; from joblessness, to drug abuse, to identity crisis, to recruitment into terrorism and the list continues.
- What framework do religious institutions have to help in mitigating such challenges.
- Many religious institutions have supported the youths with education which is a great step. The question is how do the religious institutions make the youths more employable, Can the religious institution do more?
Religious institutions approach to youth formation and Development
- Parents have not done better in spiritual formation of their children because even for most of them their faith is not even a skin deep
- Religious institution struggles to convert the young faiths without the basic faith from their parents.
- How can parents and the religious institutions collaborate in Positive youth development which is characterized by the constructs of the “5 C’s”—competence, confidence, connection, character, and caring/compassion—leading youth to contribute positively to their communities (Lerner, 2005)
How the Religious institutions support youth income generation?
- Income generation is not exclusive on employment alone. Income generation can be expanded through youth talents, youth’s enterprises, among other.
- The government together with the religious institutions have all contributed to the narrow perspectives of income generation through employment alone and that has left so many youths into economic crises because of failure to diversity.
- How can religious institutions diversify to support youth’s income generation so as to help them change their living standards?
- Alexander Chikwanda, Zambia’s former finance minister, put it succinctly an interview: “Youth unemployment is a ticking time bomb,” that now appears to be perilously close to exploding
Religious involving youths in peacebuilding
- According to Aquiline (2012), Many people, especially the youth, have grown skeptical about the role and scope of religious communities in peacebuilding. Young people are aware that most of the destructive conflicts have been fueled by people who profess one faith or the other. In most cases, the religious institutions have simply failed to uphold their prophetic role.
- Most Religious institution are identified as institutions of peace in their teaching except in their practice. How can the religious institutions walk the talk as a way to influence the youths positively into peacebuilding?
- Youths play must be seen as key stakeholders both in fueling of violence and in mitigating violence. Among the pastoralists in the northern Kenya for instance it is the youths that carry out the raids and the killings. During pre and post-election violence the youths you manipulated by the politicians to sell their selfish political agenda.
- Religion have a role to play in shaping the attitudes and the behavior of the youths in peace process first by recognizing the key role in peacebuilding process.
Religious institutions involving the youths in promoting environmental consciousness
- The protection of the environment in embedded into the teaching of almost all the religious institutions. Example of Muslims reflection on the environment is “Devote thyself single-mindedly to the Faith, and thus follow the nature designed by Allah, the nature according to which He has fashioned mankind. There is no altering the creation of Allah.” (Qur’an 30:30)
- This paper believes that religious institution must begin to do less preaching as to lead their congregation in transformative activities in all areas, environmental consciousness inclusive.
- Most religious institutions have many youth’s populations that could positively be influenced by the religious leaders to build better environments.
- Religious institutions must learn to work in collaboration with the youth’s population in building a positive environmental consciousness because in the end the youths are great beneficiaries as the future in the actual sense belong to them
Ways in which religious world views form youth understanding of their own place in the world and inform their interactions with it.
- Numerous studies have demonstrated that religion acts as a source of resiliency, a buffer against negative environmental influences (such as poverty and racial discrimination) leading to negative consequences (such as depression and delinquency).
- Religion has a particularly strong effect on individual-level behavior in communities with a high proportion of residents attending religious services regularly, presumably because religion adds legitimacy to community level as well as individual-level prohibitions against risk behavior
- Young people’s individual religious choices are a product of their upbringing and of the available religious option
- Religion acts as a key social bond inhibiting criminal behaviors. Several studies dealing with samples of emerging adults support this idea and suggest religion as a social bond relevant for emerging adults.
- The claim that religion cherishes public values more strongly than any other institution, makes it a credible partner in the process of social reconciliation and peacebuilding (Aquiline, 2012)
- In addition to respecting and encouraging a young person’s own spiritual agency, concerned adults must also guard youths’ religious and spiritual boundaries outside of the family
- The discussions above have established that in as much as religion stand at a better position of influence in the lives of young people, that special position for religion has not been sufficiently exploited as many religious institutions still have a gap in their perception of young people, in their response to their problem in their flexibility to the youth changing cultural dynamics, in their youth empowerment approach and in their approach to peacebuilding and environmental management. Such gaps in the previous engagements have soared the youths bond with religion and risk creating youths whose world views take no notice of rich-religious values, teachings and practices. The religious institution must there undergo a revolution on its approaches to the youths in order that they may be able to inspire and rebuild new trust with the youths.