Study shows large majority of world's population is religious

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  • A Scientist Provo, UT
    Jan. 8, 2013 10:38 a.m.

    VA Saint

    " Historically, religious communities have been stable and healthy."

    I sure hope you don't teach that Skousen pseudo-history in your classes!

  • VA Saint Chester, VA
    Jan. 5, 2013 6:27 p.m.

    An interesting graph. As a history teacher (ancient civilizations), it is interesting to see how religion has impacted civilizations, and how many civilizations have prospered as a result. Historically, religious communities have been stable and healthy.

  • Two For Flinching Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 5, 2013 6:14 p.m.

    @ Patriot

    Secular means that you are not alined or against any particular religion. USSR and North Korea don't fit that bill. There is no state religion in this country and it certainly was not founded as a Christian Nation. The United States is secular. Perhaps it is our universal freedom for all people that make us prosperous?

    If all of our success is due to Christianity than why isn't Mexico a world power?

  • Hank Pym SLC, UT
    Jan. 5, 2013 12:00 p.m.

    @ John20000 3:47 p.m. Jan. 4, 2013

    "Seriously though, theism is the belief in deity and atheism is the belief there is no deity. Some religions support atheism like Buddhism and Hinduism."

    I'm 113% certain Hindus are polytheists. They have a bigger pantheon than the classical Greeks did.

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    Jan. 5, 2013 9:19 a.m.

    "until Obama took over and decided to turn to atheist secularism'...i I thought he was a muslim. And just what pray tell has Obama done as President that is so drasticly different from the last 100 years? I can only think of one thing and he had no say in that.

    Small wonder that most of the world is religious. One of the key traits of humans is the ability to see everything, and religion is simply a manifestation of that trait as people try to make sense of the world and their lives. Religion is comforting. It says here's how the world works, and here's how you fit in. Christian, Muslim, etc. it all does the same thing. Not much different than seeing figures in clouds..finding patterns in randomness.

  • HotGlobe SAN RAFAEL, CA
    Jan. 5, 2013 7:43 a.m.

    For those who believe atheism is a religion, this is like saying that if you don't have a pet, you are a member of the group of people who have Nothing pets. If you are not sick, your disease is good health. Fasting is your favorite meal of the day. If you don't have a job, your career is unemployment. Silence is music to your ears, darkness is a wavelength of light from a dark star, etc. etc....this kind of thinking is like drinking from an empty canteen

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Jan. 4, 2013 4:34 p.m.

    re:A Scientist

    By secular societies I assume you mean the old USSR or perhaps North Korea or maybe many of the god-less , Marxist dictator led countries of South America. Yes sir talk to ANYONE who actaully lived under these wonderful atheist - Marxist - socieities and ask them about how propsperous they were. You are totally cluess guy. True religion liberates and prospers ANY nation who follows it while the HATE religions of the middle east do the opposite. Don't lump the two together. The US was founded as a Christian nation and it prospered as no other ever has ... until Obama took over and decided to turn to atheist secularism.

  • John20000 Cedar Hills, UT
    Jan. 4, 2013 3:47 p.m.

    There is a supreme being just because someone has to be on top. For Christians, it's Jesus. For Muslims, it's Mohammed. For Jews, it's Jehovah. For Atheists, it's the humans.

    Seriously though, theism is the belief in deity and atheism is the belief there is no deity. Some religions support atheism like Buddhism and Hinduism.

    Trivia: The Romans accused the early Christians of being atheists for not worshiping their pagan gods.

  • Hank Pym SLC, UT
    Jan. 3, 2013 8:09 p.m.

    @ ute alumni 7:27 a.m. Dec. 20, 2012

    Insecurity. Such as; forcing your beliefs on someone else and whining when resistance ocurrs?

  • Hank Pym SLC, UT
    Jan. 3, 2013 8:03 p.m.

    re: Red Corvette 9:25 a.m. Dec. 19

    Does this majority have fire in their caves or is that forbidden voodoo?

  • ute alumni paradise, UT
    Dec. 20, 2012 7:27 a.m.

    i love the fact that non believers love to respond to an article about believers. i sense a great deal of insecurity.

  • Kalindra Salt Lake City, Utah
    Dec. 19, 2012 9:53 p.m.

    If atheism is a religion, can I declare myself a church, make tax-deductible donations to myself, use those donations to pay for facilities and upkeep of the facilities and not gave to pay taxes on the donations I receive? If I declare myself the head of my atheistic church can I petition yhe government to allow me to perform marriages the way the heads of other religions can?

  • Kalindra Salt Lake City, Utah
    Dec. 19, 2012 9:46 p.m.

    So - Christianity is not a religion, it is a philosophy, and atheism is not a philosophy, it is a religion.....

    Alrighty, then!

    Here is a question for you: If atheism is a religion, d

  • donquixote84721 Cedar City, UT
    Dec. 19, 2012 7:19 p.m.

    There is an Universal Morality, that is believed by every major Religion, and even those that do not believe in God. It is based on three simple words, "Do unto others." Do an Internet search for, "Do unto others," and see all that share this belief.

  • Lagomorph Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 19, 2012 6:45 p.m.


    You've got a semantic tautology going on. If atheism (no belief in god) is a religion, then you are saying nonreligion and religion are both religion-- a paradox. In other words, it's all religion. I will offer that disbelief in god is not necessarily the same as nonreligious in theory, although they are pretty indistinguishable in practice. Mountanman adds that godless belief in government is also a religion (for liberals, anyway, in his view). Mountanman at least raises the idea that religion does not have to be theistic. You can have a nontheist/atheist religion, but nonreligion would necessarily be nontheistic.

    Not enough time now to think this through and it makes my head spin. Somebody else please sort out the vocabulary: theist, atheist, polytheist, nontheist, religious, secular, humanist, free-thinker-- and draw me a Venn diagram showing how they relate to each other. I think Badger55 wants to put everything in one big circle, even if some are mutually exclusive.

  • Lagomorph Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 19, 2012 6:28 p.m.

    Yawn. The quantification (~84%) may be slightly newsworthy, but it is common knowledge that some very large portion of the world's population is religious. What is truly significant (and would be worth reporting) is trends over time. Are numbers going up or down? Are there shifts in distribution of people among the faiths?

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Dec. 19, 2012 5:08 p.m.

    I am very religious. It's only that I was unable to believe in God as a person.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 19, 2012 2:08 p.m.


    Actually most liberals are religious, like myself for instance.

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    Dec. 19, 2012 12:55 p.m.


    I disagree. We don't put "state before god", we're just asking that you keep your religion to yourself and not keep shoving it in our face day after day. It's pretty simple really.

  • taum american fork, UT
    Dec. 19, 2012 12:39 p.m.

    Where are we? Where are the religious people? Or, where are those who have read the scriptures and found what is happening was predicted years ago. And where are those who know what the answers are? It is time to trade guns for covenants.
    Couldn't we make a list of what the problems are and work on the solutions?
    1. Yes, guns of distruction would be on the list.
    2. What about bringing God back, and prayer back? We can live together both the believer and the non-believer.
    3. What about mental illness. Can we do more research and find answers? Hate, anger, etc.
    4. What about families? Bringing the family as the central focus on security, love, turst and belonging. Look where we have hurt the family by creating a dysfunctional family.
    5. Entertainment and movies. What effect does a movie have on our lives?
    We can create a longer list. Then prioritize and work on only a few at a time. Guns or no guns won't be the only part of the problem. Or the only answer to the problem.
    One generation gave up all their weapons of war. They replaced them with a commitment to God.

  • True Blue in SLC FARMINGTON, UT
    Dec. 19, 2012 10:55 a.m.

    @ A Scientist. I like my "short, miserable existence." Thanks.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    Dec. 19, 2012 10:19 a.m.

    @ Badger55

    Atheism is not a religion (despite what a few judges may think). It is simply a word to describe people who don’t believe in religious myths and stories. It has no positive content and does not denote any set of alternative beliefs. A better word would perhaps be non-theist, since we don’t have words for our disbelief in most things.

    Is being a non-astrologer (note that we don’t have a word for this) mean that you have a competing set of beliefs related to astrology? Of course not… you simply don’t believe in astrology.

    Or think about it this way – most people know perfectly well what it is like to be an atheist, because even religious people are atheists with respect to every other (major) religion except their own. Atheists are simply people who have taken it one step further…

  • Badger55 Nibley, Ut
    Dec. 19, 2012 9:40 a.m.

    The interpretation of the establishment clause by the SCOTUS is one that I think they got wrong. The SCOTUS wisdom probably far supersedes my own, but I can't help but wonder what they were thinking when reading the constitution.

    First Amendment: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;...
    It clearly states that Congress (government) cannot make laws establishing a religion or laws that prohibit the free exercise of religion. It says nothing about prohibiting the exercise of religion in certain places. In fact, prohibiting the free exercise of religion, even if it is in a public place, is in direct violation of the constitution.

    They made a mess. Atheism, as described by the 7th circuit court of appeals, is a religion. Therefore, if you prohibit all other religions (out of schools for example) it still leaves the exercise of atheism(a religion). So you can't get religion out of state. Once the government starts regulating what religion can or cannot be exercised(even if confined to public places), it does exactly what the founding fathers did not want to happen. The government has exercised Atheism for quite some time.

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Dec. 19, 2012 9:26 a.m.

    Given that the strongest, most primal drive in the nature of all life forms is simply to exist and that humans are no different in that respect from other forms of life, it is no surprise that
    humans with their ability to anticipate the future would be susceptible to any promise of life after death.

    Belief in the life-after-death theories gives a person hope for a better life even in the most painful lives and makes getting through this life easier. However, the intense need for that hope makes us vulnerable to the most outrageous fictions about it. Even the one true church, if there is such, is operated in a manner to enslave and oppress it’s believers.

    If a belief system can be called a religion, then all the worlds people have a religion. It’s just that some people’s religion might not have a God as a person.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    Dec. 19, 2012 8:56 a.m.

    From the comments on here from bothered liberals the rest of us needs to understand that liberals do not like religion because for them, thou shalt have no other God before the state (government control)!

  • Shimlau SAINT GEORGE, UT
    Dec. 19, 2012 8:34 a.m.

    hutterite: All I got out of the article was that the majority of the worlds people believe in something greater than themselves eg:religion. I don't know what you got out of it.

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    Dec. 19, 2012 6:56 a.m.

    At one point the majority of people also believed the sun rotated around the Earth.

  • A Scientist Provo, UT
    Dec. 19, 2012 6:51 a.m.

    A Large majority of the world's population is also living in poverty, uneducated, under the oppressive rule of religiously-supported dictators and tyrants, and struggling through a short, miserable existence.

    Many studies show a positive correlation between secular societies and peosperity.

  • Florien Wineriter Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Dec. 19, 2012 6:43 a.m.

    How wise the founders of the U S were in separating religious and political powers. Despite that wisdom religions still try to impose pressure on secular affairs.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Dec. 18, 2012 9:49 p.m.

    This doesn't validate any one religion over another, nor does it entitle any religion to power over people, whether they believe in it or not.