Will Church's R-Rated Movie Hurt Teen Faith?

Study says such films are 'damaging to religious faith,' while movie-making church disputes rating.

Young people who watch R-rated movies are more likely to have decreased church attendance and to consider their faith less important, according to a Baylor University study published in the Review of Religious Research.

"Viewing R-rated movies was damaging to religious faith even after accounting for the importance of religion in one's family, peer influence and parental monitoring of media, among other factors," said researcher Phil Davignon, who sought to expand on previous studies.

However, watching the movies didn't affect whether or not young people have doubts about their faith or whether they thought it was acceptable to choose parts of the faith to believe without accepting the whole, he said.

"Watching R-rated movies is prevalent among religious and non-religious young people," Davignon said. "Nearly everyone watches them."

Indeed, churches are now in the business of making them—albeit unintentionally. Retta Baptist Church ...

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