Here’s how he begins, with a discussion of specific trends (both encouraging and disappointing) afterwards:
It is a very religious world, far more religious than it was 50 years ago. Gallup World Poll Surveys [link?] of more than a million people living in 163 nations show that:
— 81 percent claim to belong to an organized religious faith, and most of the rest report engaging in religious activities such as prayer or making offerings to the gods in various “folk religion” temples.
— 74 percent say religion is an important part of their daily lives.
— 50 percent report they have attended a place of worship or religious service in the past seven days.
In very few nations do as many as five percent claim to be atheists, and only in China, Vietnam, and South Korea do they exceed 20 percent.
Furthermore, in every nook and cranny left by organized faiths, all manner of unconventional spiritual and mystical practices are booming. There are more occult healers than medical doctors in Russia, 38 percent of the French believe in astrology, 35 percent of the Swiss agree that “some fortune tellers really can foresee the future,” and nearly everyone in Japan is careful to have their new car blessed by a Shinto priest.
Hat tip: Alan Jacobs