America. Land of the free, home of the brave. Home of the ultra-religious.
America is the only highly developed country where a majority of citizens think you have to believe in God in order to live a moral life.
Here’s a portion of the international breakdown in response to the question, “is belief in God essential to morality?”
(For the full results, see chart above to the right.)
In 22 of the 40 countries surveyed, the majority says it is necessary to believe in God in order to be a moral person. “This position is highly prevalent, if not universal, in Africa and the Middle East,” says the report. No surprise there, but Asian and Latin countries such as Indonesia (99%), Malaysia (89%), the Philippines (99%), El Salvador (93%), and Brazil (86%) all fell in the highest percentile of respondents believing belief in a god (small G) is central to having good values.
Interestingly, clear majorities in all highly developed countries do not think belief in god to be necessary for morality, with one exception only: the U.S.A.
Last year, an Evangelical Christian pollster found that atheists commit less crimes, divorce less, and are better educated than their fellow Christians.
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