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
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
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.