The following appeared August 8 on the Catholic World News site.
A new survey conducted by the Gallup International Association has ranked citizens of 57 countries by their religiosity.
Overall, 59% of those surveyed described themselves as religious, 23% said they are not religious, and 13% said they are convinced atheists.
The nations with the highest percentages of self-described religious persons are Ghana, Nigeria, Armenia, Fiji, Macedonia, Romania, Iraq, Kenya, Peru, and Brazil.
The nations with the highest percentages of self-described “convinced atheists” are China, Japan, the Czech Republic, France, South Korea, Germany, the Netherlands, Austria, Iceland, Australia, and Ireland.
To read original story, click here.
“The nations with the highest percentages of self-described “convinced atheists” are…Austria…and Ireland.”
wow – these two countries really surprise me!
they used to be the bastion of catholicism!
What about Germany???????????
Ireland! ouch! An Irish acquaintance of mine (who hates the Church) says the situation in Ireland is the Church’s own doing. Regardless of how right or wrong she is, this is very very sad hearing.
These statistics are not surprising to me given how socialism has become so widespread in Europe and China is as Marxist as a country can strive to be. There is no coincidence here to me. God Love You.
socialism? ha, far more socialism in the USA than in Europe where we have been rolling back the state for 30 years while americans passed the patriot act and elected Obama, The hard line anti religion lobby in Ireland is the Libertarian right
“far more socialism in the USA than in Europe”???? If you mean big corporate Socialism (percentage of large corporate income from gov’t contracts handed out like candy to keep them afloat) I’d agree. But not Socialism for the little guy, like unemployment benefits, low-tuition public colleges, state-supported health care, employee protection laws, support for employee unions, state-supported public transit. There’s quite a lot of variation from country to country (for example, Sweden vs. Switzerland), but the USA is well below any European average for little-guy Socialism.
Sadly, the Church’s problem in Ireland is largely self inflicted. Sad to see a country that provided the world with so many priests and nuns is now barely able to keep their seminaries full to replace their own retiring priests, much less ship them to America or elsewhere.
Ireland is emblematic of the Church’s problems worldwide, including the good old USA, where so many of the public problems are largely self inflicted. We need to pray for the Church that its leaders will grow in wisdom, grace and maturity so as to move the Church in more positive pastoral direction through Church leaders leading by good example instead of “leadership by scandal”.
Ireland may be having economic woes now, but for a decade they were an economic wonder, and the same for China. There sure is a connection between material success and atheism as people tend to become self reliant and more consumer oriented. There aren’t any saints that kept their money and became saints….they gave their wealth away, which is what we’re called to do…and which is so hard if not impossible for most of us. What good is having the whole world and losing your soul, and I pity the Irish that they’ve become cynical bitter people just like the rear of Europe. Throw out your televisions, get rid of all the excess baggage and watch God work in your life! (but after the Olympics, right? Haha)
Dana, I can’t think of any Irish atheists among my friends, but many of my Chinese friends who grew up in the PRC are atheists. In China, two generations grew up in a country where the Communist party and its doctrine is the only religion permitted (though of course it never called itself a religion). In China, to affiliate with a formal religion is a betrayal of the state and an act of rebellion, like worshiping a foreign god. In China, atheism is conformity.
So I doubt that atheism in China has anything to do with economics.
There are actually canonized Catholic saints who died materially wealthy: Thomas More comes to mind. A number of saints were European royalty who served the Church but did not renounce their material wealth.
That was ‘like the rest of Europe’ but actually my typo isn’t too far off if you catch my drift! ;0)
Sometimes I just like to jump in a pool of generalities and swim for awhile Francis. haha. I agree w/you …just look at the old USSR
The phrase I should have used perhaps is, ‘success oten leads to a spiritual malaise’. I was just using the atheism in keeping with the storyline I guess. The Irish certainly seem to be struggling with the same problems we are, wouldn’t you say? I have several friends in Scotland and its the same there…less than ten per cent go to church from what they say. Actually though I must say that China’s atheism has everything to do with economics…but its late here, brain is fried.
Dana, China’s atheism has nothing to do with economics, absolutely nothing. It is the result of active state promotion of the CCP, who first gave them socialism and Mao ‘deification’ in the place of religion, later replacing this with ‘socialism with Chinese characteristics’ and nationalism.
Religion in China is on the rise at the moment, and *that* has everything to do with economics – or better said, in a fast changing society where many have and take economic chances but nobody really knows how his life will be in the next year. Both insecurity and extreme wealth (and a subsequent ‘is this all there is to life?’ feeling) are good reasons for people to turn to a different kind of truth in their lives. That’s when they turn to (any) religion.