New research released ahead of the United Nation's International Youth Day revealed startling statistics about the world's youth including their views on personal salvation, virginity and attempts to commit suicide.
OneHope, a children-oriented Christian ministry, found that 91 percent of youths in Costa Rica say they do not believe they will go to heaven despite claiming to have accepted Jesus Christ.
In Spain, 74 percent of the youth say they do not want to be a virgin when they marry. And in Russia, 42 percent of the youth report having tried to commit suicide.
The above are only a few of the disturbing findings from OneHope's comprehensive study that began in 2006. The ministry hopes the research will help organizations working with youths to more effectively customize their programs and materials to meet the needs of the children in their region.
"It isn't enough to hear about the children in a community. To truly understand youth, we need to hear from them," said OneHope president Rob Hoskins.
Since its founding in 1987, OneHope has tried to reach the world's youth with the message of the Bible in a culturally sensitive way. The ministry, which this year changed its name from Book of Hope to OneHope, began its research project to find out why there is a lack of spiritual transformation in nations with high percentages of missionary activity and evangelical populations.
In Sub-Saharan Africa, for example, OneHope noted how the Christian population is above 50 percent but many nationals continue to engage in idolatry while attending church.
"Our goal in providing this research free of charge is to allow others to benefit from its findings," said Hoskins. "We hope this research helps other organizations to also become more effective in reaching the world's children."
Included in the research findings are insights on the daily lives of youths and their cultural beliefs regarding their relationships with families; behaviors and morals influencing their relationships with the opposite sex; social influences and future goals; and worldviews, beliefs and religious affiliations.
All the research findings have been made available for online to commemorate the 2009 U.N.-sanctioned International Youth Day. The findings can be viewed by country at no cost.
Though the research currently includes only 22 countries, OneHope plans to soon expand the number to 38 additional countries.
Since 1987, OneHope has worked with churches and ministries as well as the local governments and non-government organizations to reach some 600 million young people in 125 countries with the Bible through its Book of Hope publications and The GodMan animated film.
The organization changed its name from Book of Hope around March of this year "to better reflect its evolution in Bible delivery methods."
In recent years, the ministry has expanded its delivery mechanisms to include video, web-based
tools, text messaging and oral presentation strategies.
On the Web: