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World survey affirms place of religion

25 April 2014

SHUTTERSTOCK

A GLOBAL survey has suggested that most people still believe that religion plays a positive part in society.

The poll, by WIN/Gallup International, showed that 59 per cent of the 68,806 people surveyed thought that religion was a positive influence in their country. In the UK, however, this figure was 35 per cent, while 29 per cent believed that religion was negative, and 24 per cent said that it played no part at all.

In sub-Saharan Africa, 76 per cent of respondents thought that religion was positive. People in Western Europe were the least enthused about faith. Thirty-six per cent believed that religion played a positive part.

Nine countries recorded results that suggested that religion was more negative than positive in their society; six of them were in Europe - Belgium, Denmark, France, the Netherlands, Spain, and Sweden.

The country that held the lowest view of the place of religion in society was Lebanon; the most optimistic was Indonesia, where 95 per cent of those questioned said that religion was a force for good.

Internationally, Protestant Christians were the most positive about the part played by religion in society: 72 per cent of them suggested that it was beneficial.

Those with least confidence in religion were Hindus: 31 per cent of those surveyed said that religion was bad for society. The same proportion of atheists agreed.

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