Poll: Israel the Least Religious Country in the Middle East

April 22, 2015  

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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