19 Key Reasons Behind the Shift Away From Organized Religion

Photo of author

By Jonathan Trent

Religion and faith were once seen as powerful guiding forces in many people’s lives. However, as time passes, religion seems to be losing its appeal, with people turning away from religious organizations. Confused why? Here are 19 key reasons behind the move away from organized religion.

Changing Social Norms

Photo Credit: Jochen Schoenfeld/Shutterstock

In modern society, we are increasingly accepting of different types of people and belief systems that conflict with religious practices. According to The Guardian, the younger generation just doesn’t feel like they’re being accepted in a church environment, or some of their choices aren’t being accepted by those at church. Understandably, they leave!

Political Polarization

Photo Credit: vchal/Shutterstock

In recent years, numerous religious institutions have increasingly aligned with specific political agendas rather than remaining neutral or unbiased. This has turned many people away as religion seems less like something for everyone and is now being perceived as a tool for political manipulation.

Scandals and Abuses

Photo Credit: F01 PHOTO/Shutterstock

Religious institutions have earned a bad name for themselves recently as high-profile cases of sexual abuse have emerged within them. Because of this, many people no longer want to be associated with organized religion as they are disgusted by these scandals and controversies. We can understand that!

Decline of Traditional Family Structures

Photo Credit: Motizov/Shutterstock

With divorce rates rising and society no longer idolizing the nuclear family, many individuals no longer relate to what is preached by religious institutions. They may not feel welcome in religious spaces as they don’t feel as though they are complying with their ideals, abandoning their faith.

Education and Literacy

Photo Credit: Drazen Zigic/Shutterstock

Education is synonymous with the acquisition of knowledge, which has been detrimental to organized religion. As people become more educated, they are distancing themselves from religion and becoming more open-minded to different points of view, such as spiritualism, mindfulness, or meditation. After all, organized religion isn’t the only form of theology!

Consumer Culture

Photo Credit: aslysun/Shutterstock

Materialism and consumerism are on the rise, which conflicts with the ideals of religious institutions, which preach never to overindulge. People are now leading extremely busy lives, immersing themselves in the social scene and dedicating themselves to their careers. Naturally, they have far less time for religion.

Scientific Advancements

Photo Credit: Billion Photos/Shutterstock

Over the past several years, countless scientific advancements have been made that have changed many people’s views on organized religion. In fact, The Independent reveals that atheists struggle to see anything positive about religion because their brains are dominated by analytical thinking! We can see why. 

Rise of Secularism

Photo Credit: New Africa/Shutterstock

Secularism is on the rise, which means that organized religion is becoming increasingly irrelevant. As societal shifts toward secular governance and the separation of church and state become more apparent, people no longer have an interest in upholding conservative religious beliefs, taking things much more casually.

Generational Shifts

Photo Credit: Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock

Younger people have had a huge impact on the dwindling popularity of organized religion as they have a platform to voice their dissatisfaction. The millennial and Gen Z generations are more likely to align themselves with personal pursuits than being loyal to organized religion, and can you really blame them?

Economic Factors

Photo Credit: Krakenimages.com/Shutterstock

As prices rise globally, people are becoming more skeptical about giving money to the church, which is normally expected when attending church. These financial pressures have turned people away from organized religion, as they want to save as much money as possible. Their family comes first, which is fair. 


Photo Credit: ooo.photography/Shutterstock

The impact of globalization on the declining relevance of organized religion cannot be underestimated, as we are being increasingly exposed to diverse cultures and religions. In fact, Time explains that rising generations find the divisive dogma of many religious groups increasingly strange, if not offensive.

Disillusionment with Religious Leadership

Photo Credit: Krakenimages.com/Shutterstock

The issue of religious leadership seems to be becoming more precarious, with news of morally corrupt leaders emerging every day. As religious individuals feel they cannot trust previously beloved leaders of religious institutions, they have, quite rightly, begun to search for alternatives to going to church.

Mental Health Awareness

Photo Credit: Josep Suria/Shutterstock

Societal discourse is changing dramatically with regard to mental health matters, which has a direct impact on the relevance of organized religion. Instead of turning to pastoral care, members of society would rather take advantage of other types of resources, such as therapy.

Media Representation

Photo Credit: Quorthon1/Shutterstock

Movies, TV shows, and the news have been successful in spreading awareness about religious matters. As people become more informed, they are more likely to be skeptical about organized religion, especially as more atheist and agnostic individuals speak up about their beliefs on TV, movies, documentaries, and podcasts.

Personal Autonomy

Photo Credit: eldar nurkovic/Shutterstock

Nowadays, people are increasingly becoming more autonomous in their lives, placing value on personal freedom and self-determination. As a result, these people have become resistant to authoritative or dogmatic institutions and prefer to explore their own spiritual journey over time without being pressured by religious organizations.

Internet and Social Media

Photo Credit: Dean Drobot/Shutterstock

As social media has become so prevalent in our lives, we now have easy access to information and diverse viewpoints online. The BBC notes that such access to technology and education seems to correlate with a corrosion of religiosity in some populations, as we are more likely to challenge our beliefs online.

Environmental Concerns

Photo Credit: Hurst Photo/Shutterstock

Finally, environmental concerns have become a top priority in contemporary society, but this clashes with many religious leaders. Some claim that God will take care of the planet and, therefore, discourage activism; understandably, this has driven many people away from religion altogether!

Up Next: 20 Things Your Boss Is Legally Forbidden to Ask of You

Photo Credit: Andrii Iemelianenko/Shutterstock

The workplace can be scary enough as it is without awkward questions from your boss. Thankfully, you can often legally refuse to answer these questions, just like with the following 20 things your boss is legally forbidden to ask of you.


18 Things Older People Realize Aren’t Worth Their Time or Energy

Photo Credit: Andrii Iemelianenko/Shutterstock

As you age, the things that once occupied your mind soon become trivial, causing you to accept that some things just aren’t worth worrying about. There are too many to list, but here are 18 things that older people realize are not worth their time or energy.


19 Common Behaviors of Highly Intelligent People

Photo Credit: Stock 4you/Shutterstock

Highly intelligent people tend to be complex individuals with multiple unique behavioral traits in their personalities. Some are easy to spot, and some are more nuanced, but regardless, here are 19 common behaviors that highly intelligent people will often exhibit.