2012-12-19

The World Is Still Religious


A recent report by the Pew Research Center's Forum on Religion & Public Life found that more than eight-in-ten people in the world identify with a religious group. People who are not affiliated to any religion were the 3rd largest group with 16.3% or about 1.1 billion (right after Christians with 31.5% and Muslims with 23.2%).

As much as the thought that 1 in 6 people in the world are not religious is interesting and reveals a fact that religious people should not ignore, the dark side of this number (5 in 6 that are religious) is even more significant.
The world is still deeply religious in the 21st century (and that's unlikely to change a lot in the coming years if you analyze all the current events of the world).

The world is still religious in its majority

Yet another unpleasant aspect of this report is the fact that it reveals that more than 73% of the world population live in a country where their religious group is a majority. The world is an archipelago of religious (or irreligious) islands and, day after day, the fortifications around these islands are thickening and making them impenetrable and any hope for change and interaction is becoming a mere dream.
The Middle East (and North Africa), the cradle of the 3 main monotheistic religions, also the cradle of the world's fiercest conflicts for the last century and so, is the most religious region of the world with less than 1% of its population being unaffiliated with any religion (and a majority of Muslims).

The Middle East and North Africa region is the most religious area in the world

Religion is not a refused phenomenon, per se. It's, in fact, an interesting human heritage full of social traditions and a good basic platform for moral principles. But the human civilization is more than 12,000 years old, and we have passed a long way in so many fields.
The knowledge we have acquired till the 21st century AD should be a motive to us to evolve these traditions and adapt them into a less fantastic world view and a more rational one that focuses on the human species and its survival in a harsh environment such as Earth's (or Kepler-22b), rather than dwell in spiritual delusion or an unconfirmed (except on the basis of faith) hope for an eternal life.

Joseph

P.S. Download the full Pew Forum report in PDF format here (10MB. 81 pages)