Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Revealed: the world's most and least religious countries

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The Christian Post reports on new figures released by the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago, revealing global levels of religious belief, including the countries with the fewest and most believers.

Most religious is the Philippines, where 94 per cent of those surveyed agreed with the statement "I believe in God now, and I always have". Second placed was Chile, with 88 per cent agreeing, and third was the USA, with 81 per cent. In Britain, 37 per cent agreed with the statement.

In terms of atheism, top of the pile was the east of Germany, where 59 per cent agreed with the statement "I don't believe in  God and I never have". Second was the Czech Republic, with 51 per cent, and third was Sweden, with 32 per cent. In Britain. 20 per cent agreed with this.

(If you're wondering why Germany has been measured in terms of east and west, it's presumably explained by the fact that there is a tendency for former eastern bloc countries to have high levels of atheism, and splitting Germany in this way allows the researchers to examine that aspect.)

The survey, which examines the responses to a number of statements about religion, also looks at the strength of belief in God. Here, unsurprisingly, figures for those with strong belief are lower than the figures for general belief. The Philippines is still top, with 60 per cent expressing strong belief, with Israel in second (38 per cent) and the USA in third (35 per cent). In Britain, 10 per cent expressed a strong belief in God.

Another interesting (although perhaps unsurprising) aspect of the survey concerns the age of believers, with religiosity found to be greatest among older people.

To access the full survey, take a look at this summary from the University of Chicago website, where you can also access a detailed PDF.

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