MUHAMMADIYAH.OR.ID, YOGYAKARTA – Young generations, Gen Z and millennials, stand out with their distinct characteristics, particularly in spirituality, culture, and economy. General Secretary of Muhammadiyah Abdul Mu’ti mentioned their unique level and nature of spirituality, setting them apart from earlier generations, including the baby boomers.
“Generation Z or millennials have a diminished level of spirituality in contrast to earlier generations,” said Mu’ti at the preaching to welcome the Islamic New Year 1445 Hijri conducted by Universitas Ahmad Dahlan on Friday (July 14).
Many studies revealed several indicators to gauge the low level of spirituality.
First, religion is perceived as less essential in people’s daily lives.
“Indeed, the generations, known for their easy-going nature and preference for convenience, often perceive spirituality as inner tranquility without necessitating adherence to specific religions,” said Mu’ti at the preaching on ‘Islam and the Spirituality of Generation Z: Challenges and Strategies for Muhammadiyah-‘Aisyiyah Higher Education Institutions.’
This reality has sparked a trend among the younger generations to embrace a non-religious stance, acknowledging spirituality and belief in the divine while hesitating to align with religious institutions or identify as agnostic.
In simple terms, Abdul Mu’ti described them as “loving but unwilling to commit.” This fact prompted Muhammadiyah to raise the issue of spirituality among the young generations as a national concern during the 48th Congress (Muktamar) of Muhammadiyah in Surakarta.
Second, the younger generations adopt a more inclusive approach to relationships, embracing openness and accepting universal values instead of divisive ones, even across different religions.
“Their acceptance of differences is higher within these groups. Due to their ability to mingle, they transcend boundaries,” said Abdul Mu’ti.
The younger generation’s greater acceptance of diverse sexual orientations contrasts with the more conservative views of the older generation. It can be seen how they accept the idea of LGBT.
The lenient attitude of millennials and Generation Z towards marriage has demographic implications, leading to negative population growth, especially in developed countries.
“The generational flexibility often leads to intergenerational tension,” said Abdul Mu’ti.
Thus, Muhammadiyah acknowledges the importance of addressing millennials’ spirituality as a national concern, given their substantial presence in Indonesia’s population and their pivotal role in shaping the nation’s future.