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Survey finds world youth most religious and Britain one of the least religious nations


St. Annes Church, Alderney, England Photo: neilalderney123/Foter/CC BY-NC

If the current trend continues, Christians will be a minority religion in England by 2050. Photo: St. Annes Church, Alderney, England — neilalderney123/Foter/CC BY-NC

[by Dean Smith] A recent international survey by WIN/Gallup International (WGI) found that England is now one of the least religious countries in the world where only 30% of respondents said they were religious.

WGI asked 64,000 people in 65 nations to rank their religious beliefs according to three statements: “A religious person,” “not a religious person” and ” a convicted atheist.” It did not break down the faith according to beliefs.

Britain now joins China where only 7% considered themselves religious, Japan at 13%, Sweden 19%, Holland 26% and the Czech Republic 27% as among the least religious countries in the world.

WGI declared China as earth’s least religious nation based on 61% describing themselves as atheists.

In addition to 30% of Brits stating they were religious, WGI found that 53% considered themselves nonreligious and 13% were self-declared atheists.

This compares to the United States where 56% of respondents consider themselves religious, 33% nonreligious and 6% atheists. Curiously, 70% of Russians declared themselves as religious.

The most religious country in the world was Thailand where 94% said they were religious, followed by Bangladesh, Armenia, Georgia and Morocco all at 93%.

The survey found overall the world is still very religious with 63% of the population saying they were religious and only 22% declaring themselves as nonreligious and 11% as atheists.

However, the survey uncovered an interesting trend.  People under the age of 34 are among the most religious in the world with 66% declaring themselves religious.

Speaking on behalf of WGI, Jean-Marc Leger said:

“Furthermore, with the trend of an increasingly religious youth globally, we can assume that the number of people who consider themselves religious will only continue to increase.”

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