Belief in God grows as mortality nears, survey says
At the opposite end, at just 13 percent, was the former East Germany.
â€œThe Philippines is both developing and Catholic,â€ said Tom W. Smith, who directs the General Social Survey of the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago. â€œReligion, which is mainly Catholic, is very emotionally strong there.â€
The report covered data from 30 countries that participated in at least two surveys in 1991, 1998 or 2008.
In 29 of the 30 countries surveyed in 2008, belief increased with age: Belief in God was highest for those ages 68 or older (43 percent), compared to 23 percent of those younger than 28.
While overall belief in God has decreased in most parts of the world, three countries â€” Israel, Russia and Slovenia â€” saw increases. The report said religious belief had â€œslowly erodedâ€ since the 1950s in most countries of the world.
Atheism and unbelief was most prominent in northwest Europe and some former Soviet states, with the exception of majority-Catholic Poland (just 3.3 percent). [more]