World Youth Days Seen as Life-Changing

Survey Reveals Positive Experiences of Participants

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MADRID, Spain, JULY 20, 2011 (Zenit.org).- Nine out of ten youth interviewed by a Spanish research institute consider World Youth Day to be an "experience that changes your life."

Gabinete de Análisis Demoscópico (Office of Analysis of Public Opinion), known by the acronym GAD, surveyed 1,800 youth from around the world that follow news about World Youth Day. The project was directed by sociologist Gonzalo González Sanz.

The results are of two types: analyzed on one hand are young people's reasons for participating in the youth day, and on the other, the expectations that this participation generates. Observed from the data is that nine out of 10 young people are looking to "have a new experience" (93%), to "spread the message of Jesus Christ" (92%), to "express their commitment to the Church" (90%), and to "satisfy their own spiritual anxieties" (90%).

Of those interviewed, the majority were under 30, and one out of four had participated in a previous youth day. More than 60% had attended in Cologne (2005), and 44% had traveled to Sydney (2008).

More than 98% of those surveyed who had attended a youth day said they positively value their experience (80% very positive and 18% positive).

The youth said they also attended the youth days to meet people (87%) and to be with people who have the same values (88%).

On the importance of the faith in their own life, 85% of those surveyed thought that believing in Christ helps to forgive others, 80% thought it contributes to being solidaristic and to helping those most in need, and 7% felt it is necessary to mature and be a better person.