Black church attendance is suffering a generation gap. According to Pew Research Center, nearly one-in-five African-Americans under age 30 are unaffiliated with a religion, compared with just 7 percent of African-Americans who are age 65 and older.
With this trend in mind, Onleilove Alston of PICO Faith in New York, and Rev. Tony Lee from Community of Hope, AME Church, discussed the relevancy of the Black Church with Shannon LaNier of Arise TV during a panel discussion about the National Urban League‘s 2015 State of Black America report.
Alston confirmed a “generational shift, where you have the post-Civil Rights generation who may have grown up without going to church.” In addition, “Black folks have more spiritual choices today,” beyond traditional Protestant denominations, as varied as Catholicism, Yoruban religion, and multiracial churches.
Even so, said Lee, “If you look at the Black church, it’s still as relevant as it ever has been. The Black church has been a center of community…the center of fight and struggle. If you look even now, what you will find is that the Black church is still standing up, it’s still the place where generations of people come through to be able to be taken care of, to be nurtured, to grow.”
Watch Lee, Alston, and LaNier discuss the relevancy of the Black church in the video clip above.
For more information about the State of Black America Report, visit www.StateOfBlackAmerica.org or use the hashtag #SaveOurCities.