Europe is still strongly influenced by the Christian faith, according to a study. Three quarters of all Europeans (74 percent) in seven countries surveyed are religious, and a quarter of them (25 percent) are even highly religious, the Bertelsmann Stiftung in Gutersloh reported, citing a new evaluation of the Religion Monitor 2008. According to the study, only 23 percent of Europeans are not religious.
The study found a marked difference between the countries of Germany, France, Italy, Great Britain, Austria, Poland and Switzerland, it added. According to the survey, faith and religion are most deeply rooted in Italy (89 percent) and Poland (87 percent), and weakest in France (54 percent). "The Catholic faith is noticeably more deeply rooted than the Protestant faith in the European countries surveyed," the authors also conclude. Of Catholics, 33 percent can be classified as highly religious, while only 18 percent of Protestants are.According to the Bertelsmann Stiftung, religiosity has the least influence on the areas of politics and sexuality. Overall, 58 percent of Europeans claimed that they are not at all or only slightly guided by religious convictions in their political outlook. 48 percent said they were reluctant to let faith and religion influence their sexuality.Faith nevertheless plays a major role in the everyday lives of people in Europe. More than half (57 percent) practice their faith and regularly attend religious services, according to the study, and 61 percent profess personal prayer. According to the Religion Monitor, the proportion of those who visit places of worship weekly or regularly is highest in Poland. In Italy, too, attendance at religious services is normal for the vast majority of people. Germany and France bring up the rear.Young adults do not believe less in God or in something divine and in life after death than the population as a whole, the foundation added. Of 18- to 29-year-olds, 41 percent said they were strongly convinced and 30 percent said they were convinced with moderate intensity. In the population as a whole, these percentages are 42 and 27 percent, respectively. As in the population as a whole, 26 percent of the youngest age group surveyed have little or nothing to gain from these ideas.The core of the Religion Monitor is reportedly a quantitative survey conducted in 2007, in which 21.000 people from all continents and world religions were surveyed in a representative way.