Is religion important in our life

The market and opinion research company Ipsos MORI asked about various attitudes in 22 countries around the world and published the results as “Ipsos Global Trends 2017”. This also includes the statement “My religion / belief is very important to me”, which more than half of the respondents (53 percent) agree with as an average from 22 countries, with a range of 93 percent to 22 percent agreement.

Compared to the personal importance of religion / belief in the 2014 survey, this importance has increased. Only in three countries (Argentina, Belgium and Brazil) this importance has decreased somewhat, in three countries it has remained the same - partly at a high level - (Indonesia, Mexico, Peru) while the great importance of religion / belief for oneself in the other 16 countries has grown.

The front runners in terms of personal importance of religion / belief live in Indonesia (93 percent), South Africa (88 percent), India (78 percent) and Turkey (77 percent). All four countries are religiously dominated by one denomination. Mostly Muslims (Sunnis) live in Indonesia and Turkey, Hindus in India and Christians in South Africa (of various denominations).

With regard to the importance of religion / belief, there is only one country in Europe in the top ten: Poland (60 percent very important). In Italy it is also just over half of the respondents (52 percent) for whom religion / belief is very important. In all other participating countries in Europe - as well as in Canada, Australia, but also in South Korea and especially in Japan) those for whom religion is very important do not constitute a majority.

Even if the reasons are different, the general increase in the personal importance of religion / belief also shows a greater public for religious questions, be it in everyday life or in conflicts. The four named “front runners” are countries in which nationalist aspirations have allied themselves with the prevailing religion.

Religion as one attitude among others

If one looks at further findings on attitudes in this Ipsos-MORI study and compares them with the TOP TEN of the personal importance of religion / belief, then with regard to three further attitudes there is close agreement that of the religion-related TOP TEN nine countries out of these ten Countries are also in this group.

On the question of the “role of women: housewife and mother?” The highest approval rates are again in Indonesia (76 percent), Russia (69 percent), India (64 percent) and Turkey (47 percent). The 'newcomer' in this group of ten is Germany in 7th place.

What is remarkable about it is that Muslims, Hindus and Orthodox Christians alike share these views, which indicates that all of these religions are patriarchally oriented towards male dominance.

When asked: "Should parents be married?", The approval rate is significantly higher than for the role of women. In Indonesia (85 percent), India (78 percent), Turkey (77 percent) and Russia (74 percent), three quarters and more of the respondents support the marriage model for raising children. The 'exterminator' in this group of ten is South Korea in 6th place.

The importance of religion for one's own life can also be seen in the wish: “I would like to have more spirituality in my life”. Without considering China (where the question of religion was not asked), there are again nine of those who were most in agreement who were also in the TOP TEN of the importance of religion.

The 'harmony' of the personal importance of religion, the role of women as mother and housewife, married parents and the desire for greater spirituality allude to a religiously based worldview, where one should ask who or what encourages whom?

The preference for the “desire for a simpler life” indicates that this “harmony” can only be weakly pronounced.

In the TOP TEN (excluding China), respondents in Italy came in first place (77 percent), with France and Belgium in fifth and sixth place (71 and 70 percent, respectively) and South Korea in tenth place (66 percent).

The fact that the religious front runners (Indonesia, India, Russia and Poland) are among the TOP TEN desires for a simpler life, but not Turkey, indicates that religion is a "simplification" for orientation in the World does not play a major role.