Prophecy in today's headlines

What the World Thinks of God – Poll Results


Britain is one of the most secular nations in the world, a new poll in 10 countries finds

Levels of religious belief and activity in the UK are far lower than in almost all other countries surveyed across the globe in a special poll undertaken for the BBC.

The ICM poll of 10,000 people in the USA, UK, Israel, India, South Korea, Indonesia, Nigeria, Russia, Mexico and Lebanon was carried out for What the World Thinks of God – BBC TWO, Thursday 26 February, 9.00pm.

It reveals that only 46% of respondents in the UK said they have always believed in God – 27% less than the average.

Only Russia (42%) and South Korea (28%) were lower.

Furthermore just 52% of UK respondents believed God (or a Higher Power) created the universe, compared to 85% in the USA, 83% in Mexico, 99% in Indonesia and 96% in Lebanon.

The highest levels of belief are found in the poorer nations of Nigeria (98%), India (92%) and Indonesia (97%).

However, the USA – the richest nation polled – has a very high level of belief.

Only 13% of those polled in America said they found it hard to believe in God (a Higher power) when there was so much suffering in the world.

Yet this compares to more than half (52%) of those polled in the UK – the highest of all the countries – and more than twice the average. The figures for Lebanon were 2% and Nigeria 12%.

The survey found that only 19% of those in the UK said they would die for their God/beliefs.

This compares to 37% in Israel, 90% of those polled in Indonesia and Nigeria, and 71% in the USA and Lebanon.

A staggering 78% of those polled in the USA claimed to have studied religious texts, by far the largest figure, followed by 51% in Nigeria and 42% in the UK. This compares to an average of 33%.

The poll also looked at the place of religion in the world.

Almost a third (29%) of people in the UK believe that the world would be a more peaceful place without beliefs in God but very few people in other countries agreed.

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