For thousands of years, religion has brought people of nations together and, in some cases, has torn them apart.
The major world religions include
- Christianity (2.38 billion followers)
- Islam (1.91 billion followers)
- Hinduism (1.16 billion)
- Buddhism (507 million)
- Folk Religions (430 million)
- Judaism (est. 15 million)
- Other (61 million)
- Unaffiliated/atheist (1.2 billion)
Atheism is not a religion; however, it is protected by many of the same Constitutional rights that protect religion. Atheists do not believe any deities exist and can also reject the belief of any deities that exist. Atheists may be confused with those who are part of the non-religion or irreligion group, the indifference towards or absence of religion. These two groups may describe themselves as agnostics, cultural Catholics, humanists, non-religious and other terms.
Surveys and studies are used to show the most and least religious countries based on religious beliefs, the number of residents that "feel" religious, and how nations perceive other nations. When analyzing the WIN/Gallup International polls' data, China is the least religious country. Less than 10% of residents stated that they feel religious in this nation, and over 60% are "convinced atheists."
According to the poll, Japan is the second least-religious nation, with just 13% of residents stating that they feel religious. Ranking third in the poll is Estonia, where just 16% of the population feel religious.
Rounding out the top 10 least religious countries based on this data are:
- China (7% feel religious)
- Japan (13% feel religious)
- Estonia (16% feel religious)
- Sweden (19% feel religious)
- Norway (21% feel religious)
- Czech Republic (23% feel religious)
- Hong Kong (26% feel religious)
- Netherlands (26% feel religious)
- Israel (30% feel religious)
- United Kingdom (30% feel religious)
When it comes to public perception, the results are a bit different. A survey of over 16,000 people found that nations viewed Australia as the least religious country globally.
Sweden and Germany rank second and third, respectively, on the poll based on public perception. The top 10 nations found to be the least religious based on perception include: