15 Most Atheist Countries in the World

Krystal Smith

In a global landscape where religious beliefs shape societies, some nations stand out for their notably secular perspectives. Explore the 15 most atheist countries in the world, where a significant proportion of the population embraces a worldview devoid of supernatural doctrines.

China

Image Credit: Shutterstock

China ranks among the most atheist nations globally, with 51.8% of its population identifying as religiously unaffiliated. A substantial 68% of Chinese respondents in a Gallup poll declared themselves as “convinced atheists,” while an additional 23% embraced the label of “non-religious.” The pervasive lack of religious adherence is firmly ingrained, notably seen in Confucianism, a fundamental aspect of Chinese philosophy that notably lacks a belief in a deity.

Japan

Image Credit: Shutterstock

Japan stands among the world’s most atheist nations despite the intrigue surrounding Japanese philosophies like Zen Buddhism. Most of the Japanese population (60%) is irreligious, a trend observed in tandem with rapid economic growth and technological advancements. This reflects a broader societal shift towards a more secular and individualistic outlook, diminishing traditional religious affiliations.

Czech Republic

Image Credit: Shutterstock

The Czech Republic holds the title of one of the most atheist countries, boasting a non-religious rate exceeding 78%. Shaped by a history of communist rule, where atheism was promoted as the dominant ideology, this land-locked European country experienced a significant decline in religious affiliation. Embracing secularism and influenced by social and cultural shifts, most of the Czech population identifies as non-religious.

North Korea

Image Credit: Shutterstock

North Korea ranks among the most atheist nations, with a non-religiousness rate surpassing 71%. The state’s autocratic ideology, coupled with stringent restrictions on religious practices, has led to minimal religious adherence among its population. While the North Korean constitution theoretically guarantees freedom of religion, the stark reality contrasts with such constitutional provisions.

Sweden

Image Credit: Shutterstock

Sweden stands as one of the world’s most atheist nations, with 78% of the population identified as non-religious. Despite rising attendance at mosques and synagogues due to Middle Eastern immigration, the Christian religion maintains a cultural role. However, only 5% of Swedes are regular churchgoers, underscoring a prevalent secular trend.

Hong Kong

Image Credit: Shutterstock

Hong Kong is prominent among the most atheist nations, boasting a non-religiousness rate exceeding 54%. The region’s cosmopolitan and economically driven ethos has spurred a decline in religious affiliation. While a significant portion of the population is religious, and a significant portion aligns with ‘Chinese Folk Religions,’ diverse religious identifications reflect the multicultural nature of this dynamic metropolis.

Estonia

Image Credit: Shutterstock

Estonia’s prominent place among the most atheist nations stems from a 60% non-religious rate, shaped by historical communist influences and a progressive, secular societal outlook. This has resulted in a significant decrease in religious identification, with Christians being the largest religious group at 39%. This highlights the country’s unique religious landscape shaped by historical and contemporary forces.

South Korea

Image Credit: Shutterstock

South Korea earns its place among the most atheist nations, with a non-religiousness rate exceeding 46%. Dominated by Christianity (Protestantism and Catholicism) and Buddhism, those affiliating with formal religions are surpassed by the irreligious. The prevailing sentiment points to concerns about authoritarianism and corruption, marking organized religion as a source of contention among the majority of respondents in the country.

The Netherlands

Image Credit: Shutterstock

The Netherlands secures its place among the most atheist nations, ranking ninth with a 44% non-religiousness rate. Famed for progressive social policies and a commitment to individual freedoms, the country has witnessed a decline in religious affiliation. Projected trends indicate irreligious individuals will surpass Christians, comprising 46% of the Dutch population by 2030.

Uruguay

Editorial credit: Sandra Moraes / Shutterstock.com

Uruguay is one of the most atheist nations globally, mostly due to nineteenth-century political events influenced by positivism and secularism introduced by European intellectuals. Despite Christianity, particularly Catholicism, being the most prominent religion, approximately 41.5% of Uruguay’s population identifies as non-religious, underscoring the enduring impact of historical political and intellectual movements on the country’s religious landscape.

Latvia

Image Credit: Shutterstock

Latvia ranks among the most atheist nations with a 45% non-religiousness rate. Despite Lutheran, Roman Catholic, and Latvian Orthodox Christians being the most significant religious groups, historical foreign occupations, including Soviet rule after World War II, have contributed to a considerable decline in religious identification.

New Zealand

Image Credit: Shutterstock

Religion in New Zealand is diverse, marked by a lack of state religion or established church, ensuring freedom of belief. Christianity prevails as the principal religion, embraced by 38% of the population. However, a notable 39% identify as irreligious, highlighting the country’s growing secular trend and a significant portion of the population distancing themselves from formal religious affiliations.

Mongolia

Image Credit: Shutterstock

Mongolia emerges as one of the most atheist nations, where Buddhism prevails at 47%. Still, irreligious individuals claim second place at 36.5%, surpassing Muslims at 8%. The nomadic lifestyle and a significant historical period (1924-1992) as the second communist country after the USSR have played pivotal roles in shaping Mongolia’s prevalent atheistic outlook, reflecting a unique blend of cultural and historical influences.

France

Image Credit: Shutterstock

France stands among the most atheist nations, with 51% of respondents expressing a lack of belief in God, as per an IFOP poll. Despite three-fifths of the population identifying with the Roman Catholic Church, a minority engages in regular religious worship, particularly among the middle classes. Projections indicate the growth of the irreligious population, paralleled by an increase in the Muslim community in the future.

United Kingdom

Image Credit: Shutterstock

The UK is among the most atheist nations, epitomizing a highly secularized society. Surveys reveal that a majority of Britons embrace agnosticism, atheism, and non-affiliation. In England and Wales, only 46% identify as Christian, while a substantial 37% claim no religion, underlining the significant shift towards secular views and the diminishing influence of organized religion in the country.

 

Truths About Christianity That No One Is Ready To Hear

Image Credit: Shutterstock

Christianity has a long and complex history and many different ways to understand and practice it exist. As with any religion, some aspects of Christianity can be challenging. Here are harsh truths about Christianity that some people may not be ready to hear: Truths About Christianity That No One Is Ready To Hear

Things People Say All the Time That Are Actually Taken from the Bible

Image Credit: Shutterstock

Did you know that many commonly used (while outdated) sayings that people say all the time actually have origins in scripture, specifically the Bible? Here is a list of outdated things people say all the time that are actually taken from scripture: Things People Say All the Time That Are Actually Taken from the Bible