Global Poll finds Americans’ Religious Views Closer to Saudi Arabia than to Sweden
A new Ipsos-Reid poll queried people in 23 countries whether they agreed with two statements about religion. The first: “Religion provides the common values and ethical foundations that diverse societies need to thrive in the 21st century.” The second: “Religious beliefs promote intolerance, exacerbate ethnic divisions and impede social progress.”
The results? More than 65% of respondents in Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, India and the United States said religion is a force for good, while less one-third agreed in Australia, Britain, Japan, France, Belgium and Sweden. In Saudi Arabia and Indonesia 92% and 91%, respectively, said religion is a force for good. Nearly two-thirds of Americans agreed.
Only 19% of Swedes and 21% of Belgians shared this sentiment, and even though it is literally only one step away from the United States, Canada is decidedly less religious than the United States. Only 36% of Canadian respondents said religion is a force for good.
In Italy, home of the Roman Catholic church, respondents were evenly split, 50/50, on the usefulness of religion.
Survey-wide, a majority of those polled– 52%– expressed anti-religious sentiments.