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Study: belief in God strongest in Philippines, weakest in former East Germany

Catholic World News - April 18, 2012

A study of religious belief in 30 nations conducted by the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago has found that “countries with high atheism (and low strong belief) tend to be ex-Socialist states and countries in northwest Europe.”

“Countries with low atheism and high strong belief tend to be Catholic societies, especially in the developing world, plus the United States, Israel, and Orthodox Cyprus,” the study continued. “In the case of Poland, it appears that its strong Catholicism trumps the secularizing influence of Socialism.”

“From 1991 to 2008, Israel, Russia, and Slovenia showed consistent movement towards greater belief,” the study continued, while “ten countries showed consistent decline in belief (Australia, Austria, East Germany, Great Britain, Ireland, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Norway, and Poland).”

“Strong believers run from 60% in the Philippines down to 2.5% in East Germany, while strong atheists rise from nearly zero in the Philippines to 46% in East Germany,” the study also found.

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