1 in 6 people not religious - survey

2012-12-19 12:52

Johannesburg - The religiously unaffiliated are the third-largest group in the world, after Christians and Muslims, according to a new survey.

About one in six people, or 1.1 billion, profess to having no religious affiliation, according to the Pew Forum on Religious and Public Life. The survey was released on Tuesday.

While the group includes atheists and agnostics, it is not exclusive to them.

"Surveys indicate that many of the unaffiliated hold some religious or spiritual beliefs (such as belief in God or a universal spirit) even though they do not identify with a particular faith," Pew said.

Pew conducted the study, called "The Global Religious Landscape", in 2010 and researched people in more than 230 countries and territories.

The survey found there were 2.2 billion Christians, about 32% of the world's population, and 1.6 billion Muslims.

The fourth-largest group in the world were Hindus, about one billion, followed by about 500 million Buddhists.

More than 400 million, or six percent, of the world's population practice different folk or traditional religions, including African traditional religions.

The survey found about 14 million Jews, about 0.2% of the population.

About 58 million people, less than one percent of the population, practice other religions including Baha'i, Jainism, Sikhism, Shitoism, Taoism, Tenrikyo, Wiccanism and Zoroasterianism, amongst others.

  • JohncarlosBiza - 2012-12-19 13:00

    Media24 milking a controversial topic for all its worth, once again. You paraphrased yesterday's article after it got high reaction. Pathetic how you treat your users for profit

      JohncarlosBiza - 2012-12-19 16:21

      You just don't get it. You comment for the sake of it, even without understanding what you are replying to.

      JohncarlosBiza - 2012-12-19 21:55

      You've attached a bunch of lies to me based on unrelated posts (I didn't know I was Christian or found the article uncomfortable, thanks for the insight) and you expect me to reply to your straw man rants? I give up. You are seriously screwed up.

  • Bob.Cee123 - 2012-12-19 13:05

    It's plausible to assume that of the 5 out of 6 people who profess some form of religious belief, at least 2 of those 5 have serious, more than just nagging doubts which they are too afraid to tell their family and friends about.

      MagdaKus - 2012-12-19 13:36

      Telling your family is one thing, but in a confidential survey it is a different kettle of fish. Also nothing stops one believing/disbelieving in private...

      Bob.Cee123 - 2012-12-19 13:45

      Not everybody trusts the confidentiality of a suposedly 'confidential' survey.

      Bob.Cee123 - 2012-12-19 13:54

      Not everybody trusts the confidentiality of a supposedly confidential survey.

  • gert.swart.393 - 2012-12-19 13:23

    Get counted!

      carmen.erlebach - 2012-12-19 13:42

      When I got counted yesterday, the total stood at 55000. 24 hours later and it's at 78000. Good stuff.

      trav.seeker - 2012-12-19 14:33

      Mexico - Top 10 with a whole 973. Now that's something to be proud about. And in the whole of South Africa not even 973 joined??????? Tells you something, doesn't it Akasha? By the way, anyone with a bit of html knowledge can manipulate an online counter to increase by substantially more than the actual numbers achieved.

      gert.swart.393 - 2012-12-19 14:44

      @trav.seeker - Check in tomorrow again...

      trav.seeker - 2012-12-19 14:57

      @ gert_swart - Re-read the last line of my earlier comment.

      carmen.erlebach - 2012-12-19 15:55

      Trav - The census started a mere three days ago. Gert, keep sharing the link.

      dracolusus - 2012-12-19 16:00

      Masters in Theology, now a HTML expert as well. Colour me impressed!

  • ralph.thornley - 2012-12-19 13:31

    What do they celebrate when we do Christmas? After all Jesus is the reason for the season.

      carmen.erlebach - 2012-12-19 13:40

      Christmas belongs to everyone.

      Bob.Cee123 - 2012-12-19 13:44

      "After all Jesus is the reason for the season" Or was it Horus, Krishna, Dionysus, Mithra etc?

      sukhoipakfa - 2012-12-19 15:13

      "After all Jesus is the reason for the season" The birth of the new sun and not the son.

  • - 2012-12-19 13:33

    that means 5 in 6 people believe in a God... very sad but it will take a while for the world to realise that its just one big con.

      Jaco Opperman - 2012-12-19 14:35

      jason u right in a way cos u must be those who believed in mistreated other thats y rasta say i and i me and my god jah blessed the earth is mother to all

  • kyle.white.39750 - 2012-12-19 13:41

    Non believers are increasing as more people are allowed to think for themselves.

      chris.braum - 2012-12-19 13:56

      You remind me of my kids after a month or two at school: "We now know everything and Mom and Dad are soooo ignorant and uneducated." Kyle, I imagine you are just as cute. :-)

      gert.swart.393 - 2012-12-19 14:51

      @justanotherguy.fromsa - I think his kids are right!

      chris.braum - 2012-12-19 15:13

      Justan & Gert, now it's not maybe, they are. They have the intelligence to know that they don't, and can't, know everything. Still ahead with wisdom I would hope. Atheitis; the article (or study) makes no mention of the dying out of religion and Kyle failed to offer references to his premise. Hence my reply. If you don't get it, not to worry. Some things are hard to grasp.

      carmen.erlebach - 2012-12-19 15:36

      Here you go Chris:

  • Stefan Erasmus - 2012-12-19 13:58

    One day we will see how stupid this non believers was! Cant wait!

      gareth.beesley.7 - 2012-12-19 14:24

      To which belief are you referring non belief in? I assume your own, hence making it an exclusive belief, therefore excluding all others with dissimilar beliefs of their own from yours, whereby nullifying the omnipotence of the belief you have.

      roman.caesar.121 - 2012-12-19 14:44

      stop copy and paste.. In 1430 one in 99 of the world’s population were Christians. In 1790 one in 49 In 1940 one in 32 In 1970 one in 19 In 1980 one in 16 In 1983 one in 13 In 1986 one in 11 In 1994 one in 10 In the period 1934-1994, the number of Christians in the world increased by 1300 percent (from 40 million to 540 million in the last 60 years), while the world’s population grew only 400 percent. In so many parts of eastern Europe where the atheistic experiment was relentlessly and violently enforced,In Communist China, in the face of sometimes terrifying Government opposition, people are committing themselves to a spiritual relationship with Jesus Christ at a rate averaging about 28,000 new converts a day. This is happening in the home of yin and yang and other anti-Christian concepts and practices admired by New Agers. In this nation steeped for thousands of years in non-Christian religion, then mercilessly indoctrinated into atheism, so many millions of Chinese have turned their back on all that and become born again Christians that it is now thought the figure totals a staggering 80 million Chinese. (Some researchers put the figure at 100 million.) For that many million to take such a step in an environment hostile both to religion and to anything thought to be foreign, they must have discovered something very real and powerful. In Africa, the number who follow Christ has risen from 3% in 1900 to a present figure of 45%.

      roman.caesar.121 - 2012-12-19 14:45

      atheitis..very easy to google the google bible versus but you do not understand the take it literally.YOU STIL AN IDIOT/fool!! oops am i going to hell for saying that..?

      gert.swart.393 - 2012-12-19 14:53

      So full of hate, he can't wait to see someone else burn is a fire. Just like his psychopathic god.

      roman.caesar.121 - 2012-12-19 15:24

      atheitis..stil you dont understand my comment..since you dont understand my commnet..surely you wont understand taking parables lirerally.. you an idiot!!!

      dracolusus - 2012-12-19 16:31

      @Roman, but the rest of your ilk take the book literally, they all wrong? When we "read into it" we are accused of misinterpreting "the good word" when we read it for what it is, we are branded idiots for taking it literally. So spokesman for the free thinking Christian, what did the bible mean when it said I am entitled to sell my daughter off into a life of slavery? Was that just figurative?

      carmen.erlebach - 2012-12-19 17:04

      Good question, Draco. I'm dying to see the answer. Who was it again that realized slavery is immoral and proceeded to outlaw it? God? Oh no, hang on a minute! It was us lowly humans! Imagine that.

      roman.caesar.121 - 2012-12-19 18:53

      ATHEITIS.. STIL U AN IDIOT..i prefer short sentence. oh ar u gona complain im using the "U" an not the "YOU"?

  • abuzakariyah.abrahams - 2012-12-19 14:07

    Say, he is God,who is one. God the eternal refuge. He neither begets nor is born, Nor is there to Him any equivalent. If you cant comprehend this, then like the many before you, with their limited intelect, will perish and surely be of the losers.

      Jaco Opperman - 2012-12-19 14:30

      thy forget about the africans or does that not matter rastafarian we being fight over over us black skin to be slave and rob from the start even till today a black skin person will and shall always be mistreated even in his own country like S.A as not good enough. Maybe those results was conclude by the sons of forfathers of right wingers thats why rasta is not mention

      abuzakariyah.abrahams - 2012-12-19 14:58

      you are confused, lost and angry. No person can prove to you if God exist. Youll have to figure that out for urself boet. Do you think your existance is by chance? Look at your hand.. It could not have been placed on a better position.. Now look at your nose, imagine it had to be under your foot. Surely this is part of a great plan

      abuzakariyah.abrahams - 2012-12-19 15:10

      @Delusion. Your quoting a person who ended up in the loony bin. That is pure gobbledygook!

      abuzakariyah.abrahams - 2012-12-19 15:21

      delusion delusion. Use your scientific intelligence and excellent language and explain what nothing is.

      abuzakariyah.abrahams - 2012-12-19 15:32

      Its unfortunate that some in the human race think they'r at the pinacle of understanding. Yet we are a tiny spec in the universe. We are nothing!

      abuzakariyah.abrahams - 2012-12-19 15:55

      you are angry people. That are searching for something. For now your shady scientific theories fills the void. To each his own.

      abuzakariyah.abrahams - 2012-12-19 16:09

      ai boet. Its not about our little debate. This is beyond us. You just dont get it. Get it?

      abuzakariyah.abrahams - 2012-12-19 16:13

      ai boet. Its not about our little debate. This is beyond us. You just dont get it. Get it?

  • derek.bredenkamp.3 - 2012-12-19 14:08

    We're catching up fast, sanity will prevail!

  • jason.mcdonahugh - 2012-12-19 14:11

    the ratio of believers to non believers doesn't concern me, the competition between the two groups though i find ridiculous, each religion has a group of fanatics and the atheist group now seems to have developed their own group of fanatics

      jason.mcdonahugh - 2012-12-19 14:58

      @atheitis you misinterpreted my comment completely, the comment mearly outlines that for all the differences between religious people and atheists the two groups do share one common ground fanatics, people who provoke reactions from the other side, your insecurity shines through at how quickly you jumped on your horse in light of my comment, i am an atheist and have been counted, but i am not so blind that i cant see the flaws of both sides.

  • gareth.beesley.7 - 2012-12-19 14:18

    Should the headline not read "1 in 6 people realists"

  • fef.gericke - 2012-12-19 14:18

    I wonder how many Christians practice their beliefs like my neiggbours?Every Sunday morning they go to the early church service and sit in the front row-dads a diaken.They get home about 11 and start braaing.At about 2 the yelling starts and from 4 its a free for all between Mom and Dad.By then we have fetched the 2 kids and calmed them down.Monday morning we return the kids to their quite christian home...and normally by Wednesday the dad starts preaching to me to take my kids to church..

      abuzakariyah.abrahams - 2012-12-19 14:28

      its ignorant to judge the values of a religion on individuals

      fef.gericke - 2012-12-19 14:55

      Abu.I was merely asking how many of the people that said they were Christians in the survey,practised it like these guys,because that would change the real figures quite dramatically!BTW Why are u judging me for judging others?

      rude.awakning - 2012-12-19 19:16

      the survey wasnt about how they practice their believe/s, but whether they are religous and which faith they follow!

      fef.gericke - 2012-12-19 19:54

      Ignoring the facts dont make them go away,I presented a scenario that is an everyday occurance,and asked a valid question pertaining to that issue...but I have only been chastisized,not answered!

      rude.awakning - 2012-12-19 21:46

      then maybe no one , atleast on this forum, practices religion like your neighbour!

      fef.gericke - 2012-12-19 22:36

      you dont really believe you?

  • vernon.samuel.7 - 2012-12-19 14:43

    The real question is 'how many homes have a bible and how many homes have a Beatles album'? One of the great deities of a past age, John Lennon (pbuh), prophesied that the Beatles will be bigger than Christ and that Christianity will shrink and vanish. Now why will someone not carry out that survey?

      abuzakariyah.abrahams - 2012-12-19 15:40

      @atheitis. Please comment on my comments above. You are an interesting character!

  • obadia.segwape - 2012-12-19 14:51

    i am of them

  • mike.stafford.7509 - 2012-12-19 15:22

    Atheitist has a lot to say. He has used examples of the worst kind of Christians from the loopy to the self serving. Conveniently he omits the majority who are normal decent people who have never fleeced anyone. I would also like to ask him if he believes in anything after death apart from worms and no fuss. For those who do believe in something else, they will be happier to face their eventual fate. Why try to disillusion them. Happy people are nice people.

      mike.stafford.7509 - 2012-12-19 16:09

      Atheitist has just found another brand of Christian and he doesn't like that one either. I havn't gone on and on about God's commandments or flung anything. I merely asked him if he believed in worms and no fuss. He also hasn't answered my questions and I have another one. Are you a happy person atheitist or are you filled with anger and resentment about Christians and Religion in general? It works for some people so leave them be.

      mike.stafford.7509 - 2012-12-19 16:34

      The silence from atheitist is instructive.

      mike.stafford.7509 - 2012-12-20 10:57

      Glad you did resume the debate atheitist. Although you apparently don't spend your time glued to a computer, you certainly seem to have more to say than anyone else on this forum. My question atheitist is what do you believe happens to you when you die? Hence my reference to worms and no fuss or maybe you prefer cremation. You claim to be a very happy and spectacularly successful person yet you seem determined to try to disillusion the majority of the world's population. Why don't you let people alone with their beliefs if they work for them. Some form of religion is in the belief system of most of the world's population. The question is not whether people believe in talking animals, witches etc but rather whether we believe in a power greater than ourselves. You obviously havn't applied your mind to where we came from, whether there was a beginning or not. If you consider these questions you might come closer to understanding why we are here. I don't have all the answers and neither do you. Incidentally I am not going to tell you how important or successful I am. I am just a normal person who is trying to be helpful to others. Think about it.

  • adriaan.mostert - 2012-12-19 15:42

    2012 - 1 in 6 2014 - 1 in 5 2016 - 1 in 4 2018 - 1 in 3 2020 - 1 in 2 2022 - The Bible is used in comedy clubs and fantasy movies about crazy people.

      georg.laing - 2012-12-19 18:19

      Keep telling yourself that.

      rude.awakning - 2012-12-19 18:52

      typical atheist.

      rude.awakning - 2012-12-19 22:01

      statement? its tumb suck at the very least! You dont have to rebuke or disprove religion to make your concept look right! If you are looking to increase your numbers then marketing your concept might be more appealing to those interested to explore it. There will never come a time that religions wont exist not even by the time the next big bang hit us!

  • nthete.moalosi - 2012-12-19 16:28

    Mmmm,thats interesting.1.1 billion and the number just keeps growing

  • freddie.s.swart - 2012-12-19 19:20

    Atheist you are like a evangelist preaching the gospel, in your case. of man. The bible is science and self accomplishment. The central message is. There is no hope, no future and only darkness. Every man for himself to survive. Lol. And you call that good news. Proverbs gave us that word of wisdom. Fools says, there is no God. And then you call believers fools.

  • ena.diedericks - 2012-12-19 20:48

    When we humble ourselves before the Creator of the heavens and the earth, open our hearts to receive him, He responds IMMEDIATELY and pours Himself over/in you. Wonderful, unexplainable mystery of His lovingkindness. That puts any debate behind you because you begin a walk in a relationship with the Living God and like a newborn baby you do not have understanding yet but you know you are loved and begin the walk of adventure. Learning to walk in love which, by the way, is a verb and not an abstract noun.) We are free of guilt because Jesus, the Son and Image of God bought us dearly.

      andrew.austin.718 - 2012-12-19 22:21

      //We are free of guilt because Jesus, the Son and Image of God bought us dearly// I am a slave to be bought and sold ? ah shucks I dont want to play that game, count me out, but thanks for the offer.

  • joy.moloi.3 - 2012-12-19 23:25

    If I had to choose who to get lost in a jungle with between and atheist, I would choose atheist, the guy is fun and he doesn't have imaginary friends that will give us food from the sky.

  • joe.soapie.73 - 2012-12-20 08:59

    This statistic is made up. I wasn't surveyed. I demand a recount. :-<

  • simphiwe.tladi - 2012-12-21 10:39

    Atheists exceed that number,I wasn't surveyed...I demand a RECOUNT!

  • zain.beg.9 - 2012-12-21 11:32

    Cant feel or see air but we know its there... Who created air? The question i have for atheists... So you jus live life and be then you die then "nothing" agree?.. So i am a Muslimand i believe "there is no diety but Allah (God) and Muhammed is his last messanger" I also believe in all the other messangers Adam, Noah, Abraham,Moses, Jesus peace be upon all of them... Over and above my beliefe try to live my life in a certain way which Allah (God) and his messengers has told us to live if i am wrong then fine...i have lived life and i was happy with the way i lived my life because there is nothing wrong from the way i lived life...infact Allah (God) has told ne how to live life and steered me away from bad things e.g alcohol...n remember when i die...then nothing..... But what if i an right???????

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