Singapore. Taiwan. Vietnam. Suriname. Guinea-Bissau. Togo. Ivory Coast. South Korea. China. Hong Kong. The list could go on and on — to include 67 different countries. Would you believe that all of them are described in a new Pew Research Center study as having more religious diversity than the United States of America? According to the report, “95% of the U.S. population is either Christian or religiously unaffiliated, while all other religions combined account for just 5% of Americans.”
Six of the top twelve countries in the list are in the Asia-Pacific region. Based on the criteria used to measure each nation, “no countries in Europe, North America or the Middle East-North Africa region have a very high degree of religious diversity.”
Of course, there are some limitations to the study. Most significantly, all Christians are treated as members of the same group, even though the researchers acknowledge that there is “enormous variety of Christian denominations” (as there is in many other religious groups). There are also only eight major religious categories measured, grouping together some disparate religious groups in order to find comparable data across nations.
Even with the limitations, though, the study offers important data for Americans to consider as we continue to navigate the ever-important landscape of religious diversity.