Religion persistent but non-belief grows, shows global poll

By ENInews
August 16, 2012

Africa has topped the list of most devout regions of the world, with 89 percent calling themselves religious, according to the Global Index of Religiosity and Atheism - writes Munyaradzi Makoni.

In Ghana, 96 per cent of respondents said they were religious, followed by Nigeria at 93 per cent and Kenya at 88 percent.

There was no change in the Ghana figure since 2005, the last time the poll was conducted. Nigeria and Kenya were both down one per cent.

The Global Index of Religiosity and Atheism is conducted by WIN-Gallup International, headquartered in Switzerland.
Conducted by WIN-Gallup International, the poll is based on interviews with 50,000 people from 57 countries and five continents.

Participants were asked, "Irrespective of whether you attend a place of worship or not, would you say you are a religious person, not a religious person, or a convinced atheist?"

Worldwide, the number of self-proclaimed atheists rose to seven per cent from four per cent in 2005.

In other African countries, 75 per cent of respondents in South Sudan said they were religious and six per cent atheists.

The number of religious South Africans has dropped to 64 per cent from 83 per cent in 2005.

In terms of religiosity, Latin America was second to Africa, with 84 per cent of respondents saying they are religious. In South Asia, the figure was 83 per cent and in the Arab world, 77 per cent.

In the US, the number of Americans who say they are 'religious' dropped to 60 per cent from 73 per cent. The number of Americans who say they are atheists rose to five per cent from one per cent.

[With acknowledgements to ENInews. ENInews, formerly Ecumenical News International, is jointly sponsored by the World Council of Churches, the Lutheran World Federation, the World Communion of Reformed Churches and the Conference of European Churches.]


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