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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Religious beliefs in Europe

Eurobarometer [1]

Four in five EU citizens have religious or spiritual beliefs. In fact, over one in two EU citizens believe there is a God (52%) and over one in four (27%) believe there is some sort of spirit or life force. Only 18% declares that they don’t believe that is any sort of spirit, God or life force.

The graph above is representative of the diverse nature of Europe’s religious and spiritual composition. The average results mask considerable differences in the beliefs of the various nationalities.

Roman Catholicism is the official religion of Malta and 95% of Maltese respondents confirm that they believe in a God. The majority of the population of Cyprus is Greek Cypriot and Christian Orthodox and the results show that nine in ten declare that they believe in a God. Four in five respondents in Greece (81%), Portugal (81%) and Poland (80%) declare that they believe in a God and are followed by Italy and Ireland where respectively 74% and 73% confirm their religious beliefs. These are all countries where the Church as an institution has, historically, always been present and strong.


Unknown said...

The problem with describing an atheist as a person who does not believe in God is that it suggests that there is a god but that the person chooses not to believe in god.
As an atheist and humanist I think that this puts us automatically at a disadvantage in any discussion. I therefore suggest we describe an atheist as a person who believes that god or gods are made up or created by men rather than the other way round.

Unknown said...

This survey is encouraging for at least 2 reasons. One if it had been carried out 50 years ago significantly more persons would have claimed a belief in god. 2 it shows that the better and broader educated the citizens of each country are the MORE likely they are to be non religious.