According to map, China leads world in atheism
An estimated 47 percent in China describe themselves as non-believers
According to a new "atheist map," which lists the number of non-believers, it's apparent that mainland China leads the globe in terms of self-identified atheists. China has the highest amount of atheists living in a single country by far, with nearly 50 percent of its population describing themselves as such.
According to a new "atheist map," which lists the number of non-believers, it's apparent that mainland China leads the globe in terms of self-identified atheists.
This comes as little surprise to many. China has the highest amount of atheists as its republic government was officially atheist when it formed in 1949.
China relaxed its religious policy with the 1978 Constitution of the People's Republic of China guaranteeing "freedom of religion" in Article 36.
"No state organ, public organization or individual may compel citizens to believe in, or not to believe in, any religion; nor may they discriminate against citizens because they do, or do not believe in religion," the policy reads.
There has been a massive program to rebuild Buddhist and Taoist temples in China beginning in the 1980s. The Chinese government has also recently expressed support for Buddhism and Taoism, organizing the World Buddhist Forum in 2006 and the International Forum on the Daodejing in 2007. The government sees these religions as an integral part of Chinese culture.
There are five religions recognized by the Chinese state: Buddhism, Taoism, Islam, Catholicism, and Protestantism. However, there is still widespread skepticism surrounding organized religion in China. In Japan, where a post-WW II taboo still remains, only 31 percent remain atheists.
One of the most surprising figures in the Islamic country of Saudi Arabia is five percent of the population described themselves as atheists - where this is forbidden by law. This compares to just one percent in both Iraq and Afghanistan who describe themselves as atheists.
In Italy, the home of the Catholic Church, support is still strong with nearly three-fourths of Italians considering themselves as religious.
Pope Francis earlier this week said atheists who are good are redeemed by Jesus in a homily urging that people of differing beliefs work together.
Religion is strongest among the poor and the less educated, which correlates among the most religious countries, according to a WIN/Gallup poll. In Ghana, Nigeria, Armenia and Fiji, more than nine in 10 people say they're religious.
© 2013, Distributed by NEWS CONSORTIUM.
Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for December 2013
General Intention: Victimized Children. That children who are victims of abandonment or violence may find the love and protection they need.
Missionary Intention: Prepare the Savior's Coming. That Christians, enlightened by the Word incarnate, may prepare humanity for the Savior's coming.
Rate This Article
Leave a Comment
More Living Faith News
- The New Evangelization: Exorcising the Demon of Obtuseness
- As he did in Argentina, Pope Francis walks the Roman streets at night to hand out money to needy
- Pope Francis' colorful past: he once worked as a nightclub bouncer
- Argentinean government nominates Pope Francis for Nobel Peace Prize
- Standing up to bullies, girl says, 'I have a tumor, that's all'
- Pope Francis sends young almoner to do charity in the streets, and possibly sneaks out himself!
- Eternal Shadows or Shadow Makers? Read this inspiring tale of adventure!
- Pope Francis meets with Israel's Netanyahu
- 'King Money' has failed humanity, Pope Francis says
- Fr. Paul Schenck: Finding Living Faith on Catechetical Sunday
- The Movie Yellow: Incest as 'Normal' and Cassavates's Slides Into the World of Woes
- The Chicago School Teachers Strike Reveals the Need For School Choice
- The Sexual Barbarians and the Dissolution of Culture
- The Happy Priest Challenges Us to Ask: Who is Jesus to Me?
- Michael Coren on Canadian Public Schools: Teachers, leave those kids alone
- We Cannot Ignore Our Consciences: Cardinal Dolan On Religious Liberty
- In the Face of Danger, Successor of Peter Travels to Lebanon as a Messenger of Peace
- Reflections on the Dignity and Vocation of Women: Who or What?