Wednesday

13th Nov 2019

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.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

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.

NGO reveals German firms fail to meet UN human rights rule

A new report reveals that the biggest companies in Germany fail to manage measures to protect their employees and supply-chain from human rights abuses - ahead of the government deadline for introducing tough new regulation.

Automation threat to jobs will hit EU unevenly

New technologies, such as artificial intelligence and robotics, have the potential "to displace some workers from their tasks, even causing some jobs to disappear entirely", affecting the work nature of millions of jobs in Europe, according to a new report.

And the world's heaviest drinkers are ... Europeans

Europeans still drink more alcohol than the rest of the word, according to a recently-released report of the World Health Organisation (WHO). Germany, the Czech Republic, and Lithuania are the heaviest-drinking EU countries.

News in Brief

  1. Police end Catalan separatist blockade of France-Spain road
  2. Poland arrests extremists for 'planning attacks on Muslims'
  3. Controversial commission portfolio name changed
  4. Catalan party to support new Spanish coalition
  5. Russia jails six Crimean Tatar activists for terrorism
  6. Venice flooded with highest tide in 53 years
  7. Border controls 'the norm' in some EU states since 2015
  8. Netherlands plan to reduce speed limit to 100km/h

Stakeholder

FIFA's schools programme aims to reach 700m children

Football clubs today invest huge sums of money in youth development and court talented young players from an early age. Children are the future – not only where football is concerned, but also for society in general.

Opinion

A fundamental contradiction in EU drug policy

The knock-on affects from a 'war on drugs' in Europe is creating problems in Albania - and as far afield as Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Bangladesh and the Philippines.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Climate Action Weeks in December
  2. UNESDAUNESDA welcomes Nicholas Hodac as new Director General
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersBrussels welcomes Nordic culture
  4. UNESDAUNESDA appoints Nicholas Hodac as Director General
  5. UNESDASoft drinks industry co-signs Circular Plastics Alliance Declaration
  6. FEANIEngineers Europe Advisory Group: Building the engineers of the future
  7. Nordic Council of MinistersNew programme studies infectious diseases and antibiotic resistance
  8. UNESDAUNESDA reduces added sugars 11.9% between 2015-2017
  9. International Partnership for Human RightsEU-Uzbekistan Human Rights Dialogue: EU to raise key fundamental rights issues
  10. Nordic Council of MinistersNo evidence that social media are harmful to young people
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersCanada to host the joint Nordic cultural initiative 2021
  12. Vote for the EU Sutainable Energy AwardsCast your vote for your favourite EUSEW Award finalist. You choose the winner of 2019 Citizen’s Award.

Latest News

  1. Leftist MEPs call on EU to address crisis in Chile
  2. Mustard gas and cod: Last chance to stop Nord Stream 2?
  3. Cultural Battlefield
  4. Nationalists as much a threat to EU arts as resources
  5. Dear President Macron, being a migrant is not a crime
  6. Catalan MEP is 'elected', court advisor says
  7. Pro-Israeli group scores own goal on EU retail labels
  8. New commissioners clear 'conflict of interests' hurdle

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us