Saturday

24th Jun 2017

Estonians least religious in the world

  • Citziens from Italy, Portugal, Poland, Romania and Greece are among the most religious in Europe (Photo: wikipedia)

Five EU members figure among the world's top 10 least religious countries, with Estonia leading the list, a new poll has shown.

Just 14 percent of Estonians answered positively to the question: "Is religion an important part of your daily life?" according to a poll released by Gallup earlier this week.

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

Estonia is followed by Nordic countries Sweden and Denmark, where 17 and 18 percent of those asked answered positively to the same question.

The Czech Republic comes fifth at 21 percent, just after Norway (20%), while France is ninth with a quarter of French people declaring religion important in their daily life.

The UK, Finland, the Netherlands, Lithuania, Latvia and Bulgaria were also among the countries where most people did not consider religion to be such an important part of their lives.

By contrast, Italy, Portugal, Poland, Romania and Greece emerged as the EU's most religious members.

However, no EU country has made it into the top 10 of the world's most religious states, led by Egypt – where all of those asked responded positively to the question, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka (each on 99%).

Several other African countries, including Congo, Malawi and Senegal, as well as Indonesia and the United Arab Emirates are also on the list.

According to Gallup analysts Steve Crabtree and Brett Pehlam, the results of the poll could be partially explained by the fact that "a population's religiosity level is strongly related to its average standard of living."

Among the countries "commonly seen as part of the developed world," some 38 percent consider religion important in their daily lives, while on the other hand, "eight of the 11 countries in which almost all residents (at least 98%)" replied positively to that question, "are poorer nations in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia."

The US, where two thirds of those asked replied positively, is the most religious "rich-world" country, with Mississippi being its most devout state (85%) and Vermont the least so (42%).

"It's fascinating to note that in terms of religiosity, Americans span a range that invites comparisons to some predominantly Muslim countries in the Middle East and tribal societies in Southern Africa, as well as to some relatively secular nations in Europe and developed East Asia," the analysts noted.

The survey was carried in 143 countries, with an average of eight people out of 10 saying religion was an important part of their lives.

Parents of EU children win right to stay

Countries cannot automatically refuse residence to parents of EU children simply because the other parent could care for the minor, the EU's top court ruled on Wednesday.

EU parliament shelves NGO funding proposal

The report, which aimed to improve scrutiny on the EU's financing of civil society, was postponed after Hungary's prime minister, Viktor Orban, compared it to a controversial Hungarian bill.

News in Brief

  1. Merkel and Macron hold symbolic joint press conference
  2. Juncker has 'no' clear idea of kind of Brexit UK wants
  3. Belgian PM calls May's proposal on EU citizens 'vague'
  4. UK lacks support of EU countries in UN vote
  5. Spain to command anti-smuggler Mediterranean force
  6. Estonia confirms opposition to Nord Stream 2 pipeline
  7. Ireland and Denmark outside EU military plan
  8. EU leaders renew vows to uphold Paris climate deal

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. EPSUOn Public Services Day, Stop Austerity! Workers Need a Pay Rise!
  2. EGBAOnline Gambling: The EU Court Rejects Closed Licensing Regimes In Member States
  3. World VisionFaces of Today, Leaders of Tomorrow: Join the Debate on Violence Against Girls - 29 June
  4. ECR GroupThe EU Must Better Protect Industry from Unfair Competition
  5. Malta EU 2017Better Protection for Workers From Cancer-Causing Substances
  6. EPSUAfter 9 Years of Austerity Europe's Public Sector Workers Deserve a Pay Rise!
  7. Dialogue PlatformGlobalised Religions and the Dialogue Imperative. Join the Debate!
  8. UNICEFEU Trust Fund Contribution to UNICEF's Syria Crisis Response Reaches Nearly €200 Million
  9. EUSEW17Bringing Buildings Into the Circular Economy. Discuss at EU Sustainable Energy Week
  10. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceCan an Ideal Body Weight Lead to Premature Death?
  11. Malta EU 2017End of Roaming Charges: What Does It Entail?
  12. World VisionWorld Refugee Day, a Dark Reminder of the Reality of Children on the Move

Latest News

  1. Macron’s investment screening idea watered down by leaders
  2. Leaders unimpressed by May’s offer to EU citizens
  3. New Irish PM praises unscripted nature of EU summits
  4. EU extends sanctions on Russia
  5. UK's universities set 'Brexit wish list'
  6. Decision on post-Brexit home for EU agencies postponed
  7. May's offer on citizens’ rights dismissed as ‘pathetic’
  8. 'Historic' defence plan gets launch date at EU summit