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Does religion play a negative role in our society? 36% of Irish people think so

Older people are far more positive towards the role of religion in society.

Image: boy via Shutterstock

OVER A THIRD of Irish people believe religion plays a negative role in society while under a half believe it plays a positive role.

The WIN Gallop International poll found that 46 per cent of Irish respondents said religion plays a positive role.

However 36 per cent feels it plays a negative role, that’s 14 per cent above the global average.

Older people were far more positive towards religion than the rest of the Irish population according to the Red C survey.

Sixty two per cent of retired people believe religion plays a positive role in society, as do 70 per cent of those aged 65 and over.


Globally, the Muslim, Apostolic, Protestant and Catholic religions were the most positive about the role religion plays.

Hindus were the least positive.

In total there were nine countries whose net scores were negative when asked about
religion, with six of those falling within Western Europe (Belgium, Denmark, France,
Netherlands, Spain and Sweden)

The most net positive region globally is Africa at 65 per cent followed by the Americas at 54 per cent.

The most positive countries in Europe towards religion were Iceland and Portugal.


People educated to a Masters or PhD level are less positive about the role religion plays.

The table below shows the differing levels of positivity towards religion in society at different levels of education;

Table Source: Red C via WIN/Gallup

A total of 66,806 people were interviewed globally for this research.

Approximately 1,000 people were interviewed in 65 countries.

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