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Mapped: The world’s most (and least) religious countries

To mark the Easter weekend (because it’s not all about chocolate), we’ve mapped the world’s most – and least – religious countries. We’ve based our map on the results of three Gallup polls, taken in 2008, 2009 and 2015. Each asked respondents whether or not they felt religious; for each country, we’ve included the most recent figures available.

According to the surveys, five countries tie for the title of most religious. In each of Ethiopia, Malawi, Niger, Sri Lanka and Yemen, 99 percent of those questioned answered “yes”. A further four – Burundi, Djibouti, Mauritania, and Somalia – saw 98 per cent reply in the affirmative.

The 20 most religious countries

Ethiopia – 99% feel religious
Malawi – 99%
Niger – 99%
Sri Lanka – 99%
Yemen – 99%
Burundi – 98%
Djibouti – 98%
Mauritania – 98%
Somalia – 98%
Afghanistan – 97%
Comoros – 97%
Egypt – 97%
Guinea – 97%
Laos – 97%
Myanmar – 97%
Cambodia – 96%
Cameroon – 96%
Jordan – 96%
Senegal – 96%
Chad – 95% (six other countries – Ghana, Mali, Qatar, Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, and Zambia – also returned a result of 95%)
As the map demonstrates, the most religious regions are Africa and the Middle East, with southeast Asia and Latin America not far behind. Faith is important to many southern European countries too, with 74 per cent of Italians and 71 per cent of Greek claiming to feel religious.

Poland stands out against the rest of Europe, with 86 percent answering “yes” to the poll; Paraguay would appear to be South America’s most religious country.

Around three in 10 Britons feel religious, it suggests, compared to 56 percent of Americans.

The least religious countries, on the other hand, include Japan, Estonia, Sweden, Norway and the Czech Republic, but China surpasses them all, with only seven per cent.

The 20 least religious countries

China – 7% feel religious
Japan – 13%
Estonia – 16%
Sweden – 19%
Norway – 21%
Czech Republic – 23%
Hong Kong – 26%
Netherlands – 26%
Israel – 30%
United Kingdom – 30%
New Zealand – 33%
Australia – 34%
Azerbaijan – 34%
Belarus – 34%
Cuba – 34%
Germany – 34%
Vietnam – 34%
Spain – 37%
Switzerland – 38%
Albania – 39% (three other countries – Austria, Hungary, and Luxembourg – also returned a result of 39%)

The Telegraph

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11 comments

  1. Njanga na beef Canada

    When you compare the countries listed as least religious and most religious, you now understand why Bah Acho has been crying foul. Most important, you now understand why religion was brought to Africa by the same people who are not religious. To keep us economically poor and in mental slavery, waiting for manner to fall from heaven.

  2. So israel that many (excluding myself) believe that the imaginary jesus comes from has a very low rate of believe and yet Africa where our old moral values have been pushed aside has the highest level of beliefs? Yes we are doomed, the day we wake up from this imaginary dream of jesus this, jesus that, then from that day would we start striving for success.

  3. @ Njanga na beef, at the time religion was introduced to africa, one can safely assume that the missionaries believed in a god too. However, w their exposure to modern science and revolutionary ways of thinking, they moved on into realities rather than fantasies, while africans stayed w the middle ages mentality. Even when these europeans have tried to educate africans about todays’ realities, africans hv told them that they r wrong. Jesus is alive and europeans just cant see it bcos of all the books they r reading. lol.

    What is remarkable about that

    • Why is it when religion is brought up you all talk of the “white Mans religion” what about the Africans who are deeply religous but not practicing the white Mans religion, havent you seen Africans who do voodo religion and countless others in most of our countres? for example a great percentage of my own tribe in Cameroon practice their own religion, they have never practiced any foreign one. And what about the intelligent and non religious Africans they are many of them also, what can they show of so the non religious ones will follow suit?

  4. What is remarkable about that list is that the most religious countries are amongst the least in most things i care to think of. And the vice versa is true. That by itself should have a lot to say to those who have any sense to hear.

    No god exists. Believing in one in this day and age without any iota of evidence for, and lots of evidence against is gulible.

  5. Slave4Christ Canada

    What is new under the sun?… The more prosperous ones get the further he moves away from God. That is in fact the story of Israel throughout the old testament.

  6. I have saying the same for a very long time now.
    If we do not return to our ancestral way, we are doomed.
    We have to return to our core values to know who we are; then we value ourself and love to each other will be there.
    We have a long way to go:
    1) return to african values (the Mobuto initial way is an example or burkina fasso under sankara).
    2) Change the name Kamerun/Cameroon to an African name. As far as I know we are not shrimps.
    3) research and implement a new educational system where we will value who we are.
    4) invent our political system based on african values. to be continued…

  7. suite…
    Point
    4) people listen western democracy may not be suitable to us. We have to invent ours.
    China has proven: you don’t need “western democracy to develop your country”. Please we are spending too much resources to have western style democracy while we should focus on the well being of our people.

    • Épée Dipanda

      China is more democratic than Cameroon.
      Although China practices a 1 China policy I doubt that there is a country in this world with greater federal regulations than China. For example Chinese From 1 province need a residence permit to live or study in another province in the same country!
      As for Hong Kong and Macao they are practically different societies with different heads of state in the same China.
      So what rubbish 1 Et indivisible is La Republique trying to claim in Cameroon?
      They should arrest all Anglohones like the bishops who are being tried….Epasa Moto will rise and strike….

  8. what is religion? the good, the bad, the ugly!
    looking at the table, all the 20 most religious are the world’s poorest, their people are lacking in basic human care and compassion,with oppressive,dictatorship regime, have worst diseases in the world, get aid from the less religious countries in order to survive, the population suffer from hunger,famine, drought, mosquitoes, illiteracy, very high migration, unemployment etc,religion has become a job to many people in poorer countries, making money to a better life style instead of thinking about caring, sharing,comfort and sense of well-being

    • Korup Forest Belgium

      You said it all. Religions abuse from the poor people because those people are so desperate to think that the only thing that can give them a better life is this imaginary thing called “god”. If there was a god why he don’t help those poor people? Yeah right, he works in a mysterious way. Religion = brainwash!