Organized religions seem to be giving way to more personalized, individualistic, and informal belief systems. Very interesting development.
The results of a new study on the prevalence of world religion were summarized in the New York Times last week, and I’ve now read the full report. The survey, “The global religious landscape” (download full report here) was conducted by the Pew Research Center (now in collaboration with the Templeton Foundation!). It’s a long report (80) pages, but unless you’re interested in the variation among nations, there are only a few salient results for us.
- The first is that although 84% of the world’s population (5.8 billion people0 identifies with a religious group, 16%—one in six—is “religiously” unaffiliated. This figure from the survey tells the tale:
These data are for 2010. (Oy vey: only 0.2% Jews!)
The 1.1 billion people who aren’t affiliated with a religion aren’t, of course, all atheists. As the report notes,
Surveys indicate that many of the unaffiliated hold some religious beliefs (such…
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