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(20 January 2015) - In the context of the recent tragic events in France and the rise of religious radicalism, it is interesting to review the study conducted in 2012 by RedC Opinion Poll, part of WIN-Gallup International, which corroborates the fact that there is a disparity among the rich and the poor when it comes to religiosity.

In collecting the data for the “Global Index of Religion and Atheism”, RedC Opinion Poll interviewed more than 51 900 men and women from 57 countries on five continents. The research has brought together some fascinating finds:

  • The poor are more religious than the rich. People in the bottom income groups are 17 percent more religious than those in the top income groups.
  • Globally, the number of those claiming to be religious has dropped by 9 percent from 2005 to 2011, while the number of people identifying themselves as atheists has risen by 3 percent.
  • Four countries have experienced a drop in religiosity in their populations that is greater than 20 percent between 2005 and 2012. France and Switzerland saw decreases of 21 percent, while Ireland's number of faithful declined by 22 percent and Vietnam's by 23 percent.

On the whole, the majority of the world still embraces faith, with 59 percent of global citizens reporting that they consider themselves religious people. In contrast, 23 percent of those surveyed count themselves as nonreligious, with an additional 13 percent claiming that they are “convinced atheists”.

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