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Tony Blair and Ben Page discuss new Ipsos MORI research on faith and globalisation

Yesterday Tony Blair spoke at an Tony Blair and Ben Page, CEO of Ipsos MORI led a discussion on globalisation, development, and the role of religion in London. They explored new research by Ipsos MORI highlights how much religion matters in the world.

The new research by Ipsos MORI highlights how much religion matters in the world. Around seven in ten people surveyed say they have a religion, and most see it as important in their lives. The survey reveals marked differences across the world, with 94% of those with a religion in primarily Muslim countries surveyed saying it is important in their lives compared to 66% in Christian majority countries.

The latest Global @dvisor survey conducted in 24 countries shows that among younger people with a religion/faith, their religion also plays a significant role in their lives: almost three-quarters (73%) of those under 35 say their religion/faith is important in their life.

Those in Muslim majority countries are more likely than those in Christian majority countries to believe that their faith or religion is the only true path to salvation, liberation or paradise, 61% compared to 19% respectively, but they are also much more likely to say their religion is a key motivator in giving time and money to people in need (61% versus 24% in primarily Christian societies)

Overall, three in ten (30%) people with a religion/faith say that religion motivates them to give their time or money to people in need. Over half (52%), however, say that it makes no difference since they see it as important to give time or money to people in need in any case.

A third (33%) of citizens across the 24 countries included in the research have no or almost no friends or acquaintances from any other religion. This varies widely across countries, and seems to have no relationship as to whether or not people hold that their own religion is the only true faith, which varies widely, from a small minority in Western Europe, to a majority in some Muslim countries.

Chief Exec of Ipsos MORI, Ben Page, said:

“The survey is a good reminder to many in western Europe of how much religion matters – and is a force for good – in much of the world. Our analysis shows people would rather keep politics separate from religion, but that in a globalising world, it still matters more than many in old Europe think.”

Patron of the Tony Blair Faith Foundation, Rt Hon. Tony Blair, said:

“This survey shows how much religion matters and that no analysis of the contemporary world, political or social, is complete without understanding the relationship between faith and globalisation. The evidence is that, though people fear the prospect of religious strife, even here in Britain, there is much to encourage the view that people can learn to respect those of another faith and live with them peacefully. Inter-faith dialogue and action today is not just an interesting but peripheral minor subject, it is the essence, central to creating greater social cohesion and harmony.”