Global Religion Remains Strong Despite Repression
In a recent, nondenominational global survey of 18,000 people across 24 countries by UK research firm Ipsos Mori, 70 percent identified themselves with a chosen religion. Thirty percent said that their religion motivates them to give time or money to people in need and 73 percent of those under age 35 said their religion or faith was important in their life.
At the same time, Rising Restrictions on Religion, a recent report by the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life, found that more than 2.2 billion of the world’s total population of 6.9 billion people live in countries where either government restrictions on religion or social hostilities involving religion rose substantially between 2006 and 2009. Most of the countries that experienced substantial increases already had high levels of restrictions or hostilities.
“This survey shows how much religion matters and that no analysis of the con- temporary world, political or social, is complete without understanding the relation- ship between faith and globalization,” says former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair, a patron of the Tony Blair Faith Foundation. “There is much to encourage the view that people can learn to respect those of another faith and live with them peacefully. Interfaith dialogue and action today is not just an interesting but peripheral minor subject; it is the essence, central to creating greater social cohesion and harmony.”
Sources: Christian Today (UK); PewForum.org