• Religiosity Plummets In Ireland And Declines Worldwide; Atheism On The Rise

    This Huffington Post article shows the continuing trend away from religion across the world, with new figures illustrating that Catholic Ireland may no longer warrant that description:


    Rocked in recent years by sex-abuse scandals and crises in leadership, the Catholic Church in the Republic of Ireland has been struggling to keep its members close.

    But this week, a new global survey on faith and atheism has revealed that the crisis of faith inIreland may be much worse than previously thought.

    According to the poll released by WIN-Gallup International, the traditionally Catholic country has seen one of the steepest drops worldwide in religiosity.

    The poll — which was based on interviews with more than 50,000 people selected from 57 countries — asked participants, “irrespective of whether they attended a place of worship, if they considered themselves to be religious, not religious, or an atheist.”

    In Ireland, only 47 percent of those polled said they considered themselves religious — a 22-point drop from the 69 percent recorded in a similar poll conducted in 2005. In addition, 10 percent self-identified as atheist.

    The only country that registered a steeper decline in religiosity was Vietnam, which saw a 23-point drop from 53 percent to 30 percent.

    However, Irelandand Vietnamwere not unique in this dip in faith, Reuters notes.

    According to the global index, there has been a notable decline in religiosity worldwide.

    Current data shows that the number ofpeople worldwide who call themselves religious is now 59 percent, while 13 percent self-identify as atheist.

    However, according to trending data,religiosity has fallen by 9 points globally since 2005 and the number of people who identify as atheist rose from 4 percent to 7 percent. Note that only 40 countries were polled in both 2005 and 2012, so there are two different sets of data available.

    The U.S., Franceand Canadajoined Irelandon the top-10 list of countries to have experienced a “notable decline in religiosity” since 2005.

    The number of people in the U.S. who self-identify as religious dropped 13 points to 60 percent. In addition, 5 percent of Americans declared themselves atheists, an increase of 4 points since 2005.

    Yet, despite this global decline in faith, the focus at the moment seems to be on Ireland, where Catholicism has had a long and rich tradition.

    Since the poll results were made available to the public, many have lamented the drop in Ireland’s religious feeling, with one Guardian writer calling it “the end of Catholic Ireland.”

    Continue reading the Huffington Post article

    Category: Demographics of religion

    Article by: Jonathan MS Pearce