Peru, Brazil and Colombia are among the countries that most believe in God

A survey by the consulting firm Ipsos polled religious opinions in 26 countries.

In May, the French consulting firm Ipsos published the results of its worldwide survey on religion. Through polls in 26 countries, Ipsos gives some insight into what citizens of different countries around the world believe and what opinions they have. According to the pollster's findings, Brazil, Colombia, Peru and Mexico are some of the Catholic-majority countries with the highest percentage of believers in their population. The United States is among the three most tolerant nations.

Among the 26 countries where Ipsos conducted surveys, several in South America stood out. The first position goes to Brazil for the percentage of the population that believes in "God, as described in the Holy Scriptures" or "some other higher power." Eighty-nine percent of those surveyed in Brazil agreed with the above statement. For the same question, Peru, Colombia and Mexico follow with 65%, 63% and 60%, respectively.

These same countries also had a high percentage of positive responses about the belief in and importance given to concepts such as Heaven and Hell. According to Ipsos, Brazil and Peru were countries in which 79% of respondents said they believed in Heaven. Belief in Hell is most present in Turkey, with 76% of respondents firmly believing in this concept, while Brazil, in second place, only reaches 66%. Belgium, Spain, France and Japan are some countries where the population believes the least in eternal life, either in Heaven or Hell, with percentages that do not exceed 31%.

Loss of believers in Latin America

In Brazil, Colombia, Mexico and Peru, although all countries with a strong religious base, mostly Christian, the Ipsos survey reveals that in the new generations, there are fewer believers. When comparing followers between Generation Z (zoomers) and the Baby Boomer generation (boomers), the balance is always negative for these Latin American countries.

The countries with a positive balance in the subtraction of boomers who are believers over zoomers who are believers, thus showing significant growth in the number of believers, are those countries where the percentage of adherents to Islam is higher among zoomers than boomers. In other words, the countries where the new generations are more religious than the previous ones are those where Islam is gaining strength.

Sweden (+28), Turkey (+13), Germany (+12), and Great Britain (+11) are all examples of this and are the four countries with the highest positive balances in zoomer-boomer believer ratios. These are countries where young people are more likely to attend places of worship than the older generations.

According to Ipsos, most believers are being lost in Mexico, which has a comparative loss of 20 points between Generation Z and boomers. The United States is also losing believers, with a negative balance of 14%.

The Brazilians surveyed said that believing in God helps them overcome challenging crises (illnesses, conflicts, disasters, etc.) (90%), gives meaning to their lives (89%), and makes them happier(88%). The same issues were similarly supported in Colombia with 89%, 85% and 79% in the respective order.

United States leads the way in tolerance

From the point of view of tolerance towards other religions, the United States has a privileged place in the Ipsos surveys. Around 88% of American respondents agreed with the statement: "I feel completely comfortable being around people who have different religious beliefs than I do." On the other side of this tolerance ranking are India, Thailand and Turkey, where respondents reported losing respect for people who do not follow any religious belief by 73%, 47% and 28%, respectively.