Friday, October 5, 2007


Least Religious Countries

When you travel to Europe, don't be surprised to find that many Europeans don't believe in God. I have even witnessed some alcohol-infused conversations between Americans and Europeans that almost ended in fistfights over His/Her existence. When you travel to the following countries, you might want to pick a less controversial topic of conversation ... umm, maybe George W?

Here are the Top 10 least religious countries in the world:

1. Sweden (up to 85% non-believer, atheist, agnostic)
2. Vietnam
3. Denmark
4. Norway
5. Japan
6. Czech Republic
7. Finland
8. France
9. South Korea
10. Estonia (up to 49% non-believer, atheist, agnostic)

The one that surprised me was Israel, ranking 19th, with up to 37% claiming to be non-believer, atheist, agnostic. Compare that with the United States, ranking 44th, with 3-9% non-believers, atheists, agnostics. (I think I have met them all on the streets of New York City, too.)

The survey concluded that "high levels of organic atheism are strongly correlated with high levels of societal health, such as low homicide rates, low poverty rates, low infant mortality rates, and low illiteracy rates, as well as high levels of educational attainment, per capita income, and gender equality. Most nations characterized by high degrees of individual and societal security have the highest rates of organic atheism, and conversely, nations characterized by low degrees of individual and societal security have the lowest rates of organic atheism. In some societies, particularly Europe, atheism is growing. However, throughout much of the world -- particularly nations with high birth rates -- atheism is barely discernable."