A new survey by the Pew Research Center means you can examine the religious beliefs and practices of individual countries in mind-numbing detail. Queue some surprising revelations.
In most countries and in most religions the research shows that women are usually more religious than men. They pray more; they attend more religious services; they’re more likely to believe in heaven and hell. Cynics might say… So what? Absolute trust in a higher power is something women are encouraged to show in all aspects of their life.
In only three of the countries surveyed, do Christian men pray more than the women, and two of those are African.
But Pew Research Center’s research is more interesting than that; Islam and Orthodox Judaism are the only faiths where generally men are more religious than women. This can be explained by the fact that Muslim men are usually expected to attend communal Friday midday prayers in the mosque and Orthodox women do not have to be present for worship ceremonies. However, countries in Africa seem to buck many of the more general trends.
In most Christian countries, women pray more than men. In only three of the countries surveyed, do Christian men pray more than the women, and two of those are African: Burkina Faso and Guinea-Bissau.
South Africa is the country where the most women compared to men attend worship services weekly; Kenya came close behind. Afghanistan topped the list of countries where the most men go to services compared to women, but Senegal was the African country which came highest.
In Muslim countries, women and men pray about equally. However in three countries, more men pray than women: Senegal, Tanzania and Mozambique.
There are two countries where men are more likely to consider religion of greater personal importance than women.
In 46 of the 84 countries for which data are available, women and men are about equally likely to say religion is “very important” in their lives. Otherwise, women care more. But there are two countries where men are more likely to consider religion of greater personal importance than women: Israel and Mozambique.
Conduct your own mini inquisition and find out how religious your compatriots and neighbours are here. Or you can simply get lost in Pew’s wealth of statistics and find out what percentage of parents know their teen’s email password or which things make people change their social media profiles the most. Go forth and waste time.