China is the least religious country in the world, with the mainland housing twice as many atheists (61 percent) than any other nation, followed by the heathen-breeding territory that is Hong Kong (34 percent atheist) and Japan (31 percent), according to a recent survey from Win/Gallup International.
In a global ranking of 65 countries and regions, Thailand was found to be the most religious, with 94 percent of respondents saying they have a faith. This was followed by the 93 percent in Armenia, Bangladesh, Georgia and Morocco.
Meanwhile, only seven percent of people in China responded as being religious, while 61 percent identified as being “convinced atheists”. After Hong Kong and Japan, the Czech Republic and Spain rounded off the top 5 least-religious countries, with 30 percent and 20 percent of respondents identifying as “convinced atheists”, respectively.
The poll, which explored the religious beliefs of 63,898 people at the end of last year, found that 63 percent of citizens worldwide are religious, 22 percent are not and 11 percent identify as atheist. The poll also saw a relationship between gender, age, income and education when it comes to religious beliefs. People under 34 tend to be more religious, as do those without a formal education (but religious people are a majority in all education levels).
Experts nonetheless predict that China, with its massive 1.35 billion population, is still on track to become “the largest Christian country in the world”. The country’s total Christian population is expected to exceed 247 million within the next 15 years, according to Fenggang Yang, a professor of sociology at Purdue University and author of Religion in China: Survival and Revival under Communist Rule. Meanwhile, China has the world’s biggest Buddhist population with an estimated 244 million, or 18.2 percent of its total population.