Church 'disturbed' by youth survey

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The Independent Online

An overwhelming majority of young Anglicans and Catholics reject their churches' teachings on family values, according to new findings described as "highly disturbing" for Britain's main Christian denominations.

An overwhelming majority of young Anglicans and Catholics reject their churches' teachings on family values, according to new findings described as "highly disturbing" for Britain's main Christian denominations.

A report into attitudes of 33,000 British teenagers, published today, found that the churches' positions on divorce and sex were supported by only a small minority of their younger members.

The research by the University of Wales represents one of the biggest investigations into teenagers' attitudes and religious backgrounds. It found that of those between 13 and 15 who described themselves as Anglican, 13 per cent thought that to have sex outside marriage was wrong. Among Roman Catholics, the figure was 15 per cent. Only 18 per cent of Anglicans and 23 per cent of Catholics thought divorce was wrong.

Professor Leslie Francis, of the Welsh national centre for religious education at the university, said: "These are highly disturbing findings for the UK's largest Christian denominations. They demonstrate a significant gap between traditional church teaching on major moral and ethical issues and the beliefs of the younger generation of church members."

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