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The young put their faith in mysticism

Daily Telegraph, UK
Sep. 18, 2004
Jonathan Petre, Religion Correspondent • Monday September 20, 2004

Young people have more faith in mysticism than in the Church and the Bible, according to research which suggests a revival of the “Age of Aquarius”.

Nearly two thirds of 18- to 24-year-olds believe in the power of horoscopes, compared to just over a third who swear by the Bible, a survey of 3,000 people has found.

While over-45s remain loyal to the Bible, with 71 per cent saying they believed in it, half of those under 45 years old prefer giving credence to astrology.

People in Northern Ireland were the most attached to the Bible, with 92 per cent saying they regarded it as an article of faith, compared with just 16 per cent who turned to horoscopes. In the North-East, however, only 28 per cent said they were confident in the Bible. The findings, conducted for the FX television channel, will refuel concerns among Church leaders about an emerging interest among young people in New Age beliefs and fringe religious movements such as Kabbalah, which has attracted celebrities like the singer Madonna.

A Church of England spokesman said: “Horoscopes are fine for a bit of fun and entertainment, but if you take them seriously, they are very dangerous. The Church is aware of its difficulties in reaching young people, and is looking at new ways of attracting them away from misleading concepts like astrology and towards the message of God and the Bible.”

The survey was carried out by the marketing company Tickbox earlier this month to coincide with the start of a new apocalyptic television drama Carnivale.

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