Survey names Philippines as one of world’s most religious countries

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The procession of the Black Nazarene in Manila. Picture via Wikimedia Commons.

The Philippines is one of the world’s most religious countries, a worldwide survey by Gallup International has found.

The 2017 study, which explored the religious beliefs of more than 66,000 people in 68 countries, found out that 62 per cent of people worldwide consider themselves religious.

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The Philippines ranked fifth among the most religious countries with a rating of 90 per cent.

Thailand emerged as the world’s most religious country with almost the entire population — 98 per cent — declaring themselves to be religious.

This was followed by Nigeria at 97 per cent; Kosovo, India, Ghana, Ivory Coast, and Papua New Guinea next, all with 94 per cent; and Fiji and Armenia, both 92 per cent.

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At the other end of the scale, China was found to be the least religious country, with almost seven out of 10 people describing themselves as atheists. 

Other strongly atheist countries included Sweden, the Czech Republic, and the United Kingdom.

Globally, a quarter of the population consider themselves as non-religious while only nine per cent describe themselves as atheists.

The study also confirmed that as the education level of respondents increased, so their levels of religiosity decreased.

Eighty-three per cent of people with lower education levels were religious compared to 49 per cent of people with higher education identifying themselves as religious.

“Those without education express more beliefs than those who reached higher levels of education and those who have less available income express more beliefs than those with higher income,” Gallup said.

A majority of people worldwide also believe that we have a soul (74 per cent), and believe in God (71 per cent).

More than half of the global population meanwhile, believe in heaven (56 per cent) and that there is life after death (54 per cent), while nearly half (49 per cent) believe in hell.

“The survey confirmed that religion is a relevant aspect in the lives of individuals at a worldwide level, even though the history of each country and the levels of education have a considerable influence on the perception of these values,” said Vilma Scarpino, Gallup interim president.

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