Young more religious than old in only two countries in world

Jun 14, 2018

By Harriet Sherwood

Young people are more religious than their elders in only two countries – Ghana, and the former Soviet republic of Georgia – according to a global analysis.

In 46 out of 106 countries surveyed by the Washington-based Pew Research Center, people between the ages of 18 and 39 are less likely to say religion is very important to them than adults over the age of 40.

Countries where the age gap is most marked are Poland, Greece, Chile, Romania and Portugal – all predominantly Christian countries, and all with a percentage point difference between the two age groups of 20 or higher.

The US has a 17-point difference, and Ireland a nine-point gap. The UK is among 58 countries in which there is no significant difference between younger and older adults.

In Lebanon, a majority Muslim country but with a large Christian population, there is a 20-point age gap. In Iran, ruled by an Islamic theocracy, there is a nine-point difference.

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