Chicago, April 20, 2012
|Panagia Salamiotissa monastery, Cyprus|
The data comes from 30 countries in which surveys about belief in God were taken at least twice, in some cases, since 1991. Researchers from Chicago University asked questions to determine people’s range of beliefs, from atheism to overall strong belief in God, their changing beliefs over their time, and their attitude toward the notion that God is concerned with individuals.
Among the findings were that atheism is strongest in northwest European countries such as Scandinavia and the former Soviet states, that the country with the strongest belief is the Philippines, where 94 percent of those surveyed say they always have believed in God and – not surprisingly – that belief is highest among older adults.
Countries with the strongest belief in God tended to be Catholic societies, especially in the developing world. In the US and Cyprus, people surveyed proved to have strong belief in God. Although by most measures, belief in God is gradually declining worldwide, but it is increasing in Russia, Slovenia, and Israel.
Belief in God is higher among the elderly. On average, 43 percent of those ages 68 and older are certain that God exists, compared with 23 percent of those 27 and younger, according to research that was issued by the General Social Survey of the Social Science Research organization NORC at the University of Chicago.