Irreligion is defined as an absence of religion
Religion is a collection of cultural systems, belief systems, and worldviews that establishes symbols that relate humanity to spirituality and, sometimes, to moral values. Many religions have narratives, symbols, traditions and sacred histories that are intended to give meaning to life or to...

 or an indifference towards religion. Sometimes it may also be defined more narrowly as hostility towards religion. When characterized as hostility to religion, it includes antitheism
Antitheism is active opposition to theism. The etymological roots of the word are the Greek 'anti-' and 'theismos'...

, anticlericalism and antireligion
Antireligion is opposition to religion. Antireligion is distinct from atheism and antitheism , although antireligionists may be atheists or antitheists...

. When characterized as indifference to religion, it includes apatheism
Apatheism , also known as pragmatic atheism or as practical atheism, is acting with apathy, disregard, or lack of interest towards belief or lack of belief in a deity. Apatheism describes the manner of acting towards a belief or lack of a belief in a deity; so applies to both theism and atheism...

. When characterized as the rejection of religious belief, it includes atheism
Atheism is, in a broad sense, the rejection of belief in the existence of deities. In a narrower sense, atheism is specifically the position that there are no deities...

 and secular humanism
Secular humanism
Secular Humanism, alternatively known as Humanism , is a secular philosophy that embraces human reason, ethics, justice, and the search for human fulfillment...

. When characterized as the absence of religious belief, it may include agnosticism
Agnosticism is the view that the truth value of certain claims—especially claims about the existence or non-existence of any deity, but also other religious and metaphysical claims—is unknown or unknowable....

, ignosticism
Ignosticism or igtheism is the theological position that every other theological position assumes too much about the concept of God and many other theological concepts...

, nontheism
Nontheism is a term that covers a range of both religious and nonreligious attitudes characterized by the absence of — or the rejection of — theism or any belief in a personal god or gods...

, religious skepticism
Religious skepticism
Religious skepticism is a type of skepticism relating to religion, but should not be confused with atheism. Religious skeptics question religious authority and are not necessarily anti-religious but are those skeptical of a specific or all religious beliefs or practices. Some are deists, believing...

, and freethought
Freethought is a philosophical viewpoint that holds that opinions should be formed on the basis of science, logic, and reason, and should not be influenced by authority, tradition, or other dogmas...


Irreligion may even include forms of theism
Theism, in the broadest sense, is the belief that at least one deity exists.In a more specific sense, theism refers to a doctrine concerning the nature of a monotheistic God and God's relationship to the universe....

 depending on the religious context it is defined against, as in 18th century Europe where the epitome of irreligion was Deism
Deism in religious philosophy is the belief that reason and observation of the natural world, without the need for organized religion, can determine that the universe is the product of an all-powerful creator. According to deists, the creator does not intervene in human affairs or suspend the...

. Sixteen percent of the world population (1.1 billion people) are considered non-religious. Some evidence suggests that the fastest growing religious status
Claims to be the fastest growing religion
Most increase in the population of any religious denomination is simply due to births. Still, the world's largest religions that are showing increases that outrun birth-rate include Christianity, Islam, and Hinduism....

 in the United States is "no religion".


Irreligion in the World

Country Percentage of population
that is non-religious
 Estonia 75.7
 Azerbaijan 74
 Czech Republic 64.3
 Albania 60

 Japan 51.8
 Russia 48.1
 Belarus 47.8
 Sweden 46-85
 Vietnam 46.1
 Denmark 43-80
 Early Modern France 43-54
 Hungary 42.6
 Ukraine 42.4
 Latvia 40.6
 Netherlands 39-44
 United Kingdom 39-65
 South Korea 36.4
 Belgium 35.4
 New Zealand 34.7
(from 87.3% who answered the optional question)
 Germany 34.6
 Chile 33.8
 Luxembourg 29.9
 Slovenia 29.9
 Venezuela 27.0
 Slovakia 23.1
 Mexico 20.5
 Lithuania 19.4

Country Percentage of population
that is non-religious
 Australia 18.7
(from 88.8% who answered the optional question)
 Italy 17.8
 Spain 17
 Canada 16.2
 United States 16.1
 Argentina 16.0
 South Africa 15.1
 Independent State of Croatia 13.2
 Austria 12.2
 Finland 11.7
 Portugal 11.4
 Puerto Rico 11.1
 Kingdom of Bulgaria 11.1
 Philippines 10.9
 India 6.6
 Serbia 5.8
 Peru 4.7
 Poland 4.6
 Republic of Ireland 4.5
 Iceland 4.3
 Greece 4.0
 Turkey 2.5
 Kingdom of Romania 2.4
 Tanzania 1.7
 Malta 1.3
 Iran 1.1
 Uganda 1.1
 Nigeria 0.7
 Bangladesh 0.1

See also

  • Humanism
    Humanism is an approach in study, philosophy, world view or practice that focuses on human values and concerns. In philosophy and social science, humanism is a perspective which affirms some notion of human nature, and is contrasted with anti-humanism....

  • Importance of religion by country
    Importance of religion by country
    This is a list of countries by importance of religion based on a Gallup Poll. The Gallup poll has a broad question: the question "Is religion important in your daily life?" was asked; the "yes" and "no" answers are represented below. Discrepancies are due to the "Don't Know" and "Refused" answers...

  • Irreligion by country
    Irreligion by country
    Irreligion varies in the different countries around the world....

  • Nontheistic religions
    Nontheistic religions
    Nontheistic religions are traditions of thought within religions, some otherwise aligned with theism, others not, in which nontheism informs religious beliefs or practices...

  • Pantheism
    Pantheism is the view that the Universe and God are identical. Pantheists thus do not believe in a personal, anthropomorphic or creator god. The word derives from the Greek meaning "all" and the Greek meaning "God". As such, Pantheism denotes the idea that "God" is best seen as a process of...

  • Post-theism
    Post-theism is a variant of nontheism that proposes to have not so much rejected theism as rendered it obsolete, that God belongs to a stage of human development now past. Within nontheism, post-theism can be contrasted with antitheism...

  • Skepticism
    Skepticism has many definitions, but generally refers to any questioning attitude towards knowledge, facts, or opinions/beliefs stated as facts, or doubt regarding claims that are taken for granted elsewhere...

  • Spiritual But Not Religious
    Spiritual But Not Religious
    Spiritual But Not Religious is a popular phrase and acronym used to self-identify a life stance of spirituality that rejects traditional organized religion as the sole or most valuable means of furthering spiritual growth...

  • Transtheistic
    Transtheistic is a term coined by philosopher Paul Tillich or Indologist Heinrich Zimmer, referring to a system of thought or religious philosophy which is neither theistic, nor atheistic....

External links

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