"Major Eid Prayers in the city Dhaka" by Ariyan7 / CC BY-SA 4.0

The Global God Divide

Jul 20, 2020

By Christine Tamir, Aidan Connaughton, and Ariana Monique Salazar

What is the connection between belief in God and morality? And how important are God and prayer in people’s lives? Pew Research Center posed these questions to 38,426 people in 34 countries in 2019.

Across the 34 countries, which span six continents, a median of 45% say it is necessary to believe in God to be moral and have good values. But there are large regional variations in answers to this question.

People in the emerging economies included in this survey tend to be more religious and more likely to consider religion to be important in their lives, and they are also more likely than people in this survey who live in advanced economies to say that belief in God is necessary to be moral. Differences occur within countries as well. In general, people who are relatively nonreligious are more inclined than highly religious people in the same countries to say it is not necessary to believe in God to be a moral person.

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