Tyrone Reid, Senior Staff Reporter
The vast majority of young Jamaicans are looking to the non-traditional churches for their salvation.
The Population and Housing Census 2011 has revealed that most of Jamaica's youth have forsaken the religious path taken by their forefathers and are turning away from most of the traditional churches.
The number of Jamaicans between ages 10 and 29 in just three denominations represented in the national census more than doubles the youth population in the Anglican, Baptist, Methodist, Moravian and Roman Catholic churches.
According to the recently released national census, of the 1,013,037 persons between the ages of 10 and 29, just 121,995 of them or 12 per cent attend these five traditional churches.
On the other hand, some 337,008 or 33.3 per cent of the total youth population attend the Pentecostals, Seventh-day Adventists, and what is dubbed by the census takers as 'Other Church of God'.
NONE OF THE ABOVE
But a sizeable number of young people, 227,941, or 7.4 per cent, do not associate with any denomination or religion.
That is an issue for the Reverend Dr Wellesley Blair, the New Testament Church of God's administrative bishop for Jamaica and the Cayman Islands.
Blair told The Sunday Gleaner that far too many people - 572,008 - in Jamaica are not believers and the church should shoulder that responsibility.
"That's not good. More people should be affiliated. We all should take the blame," he said.
Pastor Everett Brown, president of the Jamaica Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, agreed.
He said the church is now operating in a post-modern society that sees people moving away from the core values espoused by the church and instead gravitating towards materialism.
"I can't say that this is the basic reason, but the church's function is to continue to preach the gospel," said Brown.
Total youth (10-29)
Other Church of God