For the first time, there are more people who are saying they do not believe in God than people who say they believe in God. In addition, a large group of people are agnostics.
The figures come from the Norwegian Monitor survey of values and attitudes, the newspaper Vårt Land writes. To the question “do you believe in God?” 39 percent replied no, while 37 percent replied yes. 23 percent of the nearly 4,000 who responded to the survey, which was sent out by post, said they did not know.
Two years ago there were just as many believers as non-believers. When the question was asked for the first time in 1985, a full 50 percent said they believed in God, while only 20 percent said they did not believe.
Research Director Jan-Paul Brekke Ipsos, which conducted the study, says survey does not define who God is.
– It can be both the Christian god, an independent god, or the god of another faith. But since we have asked the same question for 30 years, we also measure the same “vagueness” each year, he said. There are some immigrants among their sources, but most of them come from western religious traditions.
– We have few Muslims among our sources, Brekke says.
The survey also shows that women believe in God to a greater extent than men, and that faith in God is stronger among the elderly than among young people. With 29 percent who believe in God, Oslo has the lowest proportion of believers, while Vest-Agder has the highest with 44 per cent.
Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today