Israel Least Religious Country in Middle East

57% of Israelis claim they are 'not religious' and 8% are 'atheist,' according to Gallup poll.

Tova Dvorin,

Religious Jewish man wears a kippah at the Kotel
Religious Jewish man wears a kippah at the Kotel
Flash 90

Israel may be known for its importance to several world religions, but it is still one of the least religious countries worldwide, according to a poll released Wednesday. 

57% of Israelis claim they are "not religious," according to the WIN (Worldwide Independent Network of Market Research)-Gallup poll, vs. just 30% who said they are "religious." An additional 8% of respondents claimed they are "a convinced atheist" and 5% declined to respond. 

Comparatively, 75% of Palestinian Arabs polled identified as "religious," compared to 18% who are not, and 1% who identify as atheist. 

Overall, 65% of Israelis identify as "not religious," according to these findings - placing the country as more secular compared to other Western nations such as the US (35% non-religious and atheists), Australia (58%), and Switzerland (58%). The UK, however, surpasses Israel as 70% "non-religious." 

It is also the most secular country in the Middle East and North Africa, with 82% of respondents overall identifying as "religious." 

Topping the religiosity list - those countries with a 90% "religious" population - are Thailand (94%), Bangladesh (93%), Georgia (93%), Morocco (93%), Fiji (92%) and South Africa (91%).

Bottoming out the list are China, with 61% identifying as "atheist," as well as Sweden (74% non-religious or atheist). 

Worldwide, 63% of people polled say they are religious, 22% say they are not, and 11% consider themselves atheist.

Surprisingly, religion has been linked with youth, with 66% of respondents under the age of 34 identifying as "religious," versus just 60% in other age groups, regardless of level of education. 




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