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World Youth Day: 96% of pilgrims think gatherings contribute to evangelization

Participants at World Youth Day 2023 in in Lisbon, Portugal. / Credit: José Ferreira/JMJ Lisboa 2023

ACI Prensa Staff, Jul 31, 2023 / 17:00 pm (CNA).

According to an international survey, 96% of young people over the age of 18 who are attending World Youth Day (WYD) in Lisbon, Portugal, think these gatherings contribute a lot or quite a bit “to spreading faith in Jesus Christ.”

To the same extent, the participants think that the different WYDs help  “reinforce the commitment of young people” (96%) and “make the Church’s message resound throughout the world” (95%).

Among the motivations for attending the international meeting with the pope is “encountering Jesus Christ” (94%) followed by “living new experiences” (92%). For 89% it’s a decisive factor to help “spread the message of Jesus Christ” and “to be at an event with Pope Francis.”

To a lesser extent, young people are coming to Lisbon to get to know different cultures, new people, be with like-minded people, or establish a dialogue with young people of different religions.

For the most part, WYD pilgrims consider that their Christian faith is a positive factor for maturing and being a better person, building a better world, showing solidarity, understanding others, and living a happy life.

According to the study, almost two-thirds of attendees are women (62%) and 4 out of 10 are between 18 and 25 years old, while almost a third are over 35. Eighty-two percent have higher education, 6 out of 10 have a job, and just over a third are students.

Regarding their religious practice, 83% go to Mass on Sundays, 65% pray daily, and 62% belong to a parish group.

In 36% of the cases, participants have been accompanied by a religious group or association, 29% by their parishes, and 27% are alone or with a group of friends.

For two-thirds of the attendees, it will be the first time they have participated in a WYD. Those who have gone to WYDs before consider their experiences at previous events to be very positive or positive (99%) and recognize that these experiences have had a great influence on their lives (92%).

The survey was prepared by the Spanish company GAD3 through online interviews conducted from July 12–20 with almost 12,600 young people from 100 countries.

This story was first published by ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language news partner. It has been translated and adapted by CNA.

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