Israel Has One Of Least Religious Populations In The World, Poll Finds


yerushalayimIsraelis are among the world’s least religious people, a new survey has found.

In a poll conducted by WIN/Gallup, 65 percent of Israeli respondents said they are “either not religious or convinced atheists,” compared to just 30 percent who consider themselves religious.

Israel stands in stark contrast with the rest of the Middle East on religiosity. The poll found that the Middle East and Africa are the most religious regions of the world, including 75 percent of respondents in the disputed Palestinian territories saying that they are religious compared to 18 percent who said they are not. Israel is more aligned with many countries in Western Europe, where more than half of respondents in the poll said they are not religious.

Overall, the poll found that most of the world remains deeply connected to religion, with 63 percent of respondents considering themselves to be religious.

“Religion continues to dominate our everyday lives and we see that the total number of people who consider themselves to be religious is actually relatively high,” said Jean-Marc Leger, president of the WIN/Gallup International Association. “Furthermore, with the trend of an increasingly religious youth globally, we can assume that the number of people who consider themselves religious will only continue to increase.”


{ Israel}


  1. I guess that must make HaShem very happy.

    How long would any of us sit quiet while our children live in our home and totally ignore us while picking on their siblings who do acknowledge us??

    The Torah keeps warning that the Land will spit out those who misbehave in it. It still applies today. What will make us wake up and realize that all the threats and saber-rattling of our enemies surrounding us are nothing more than a message from HaShem that we should once more turn to Him??

    HaShem is even using as one of His tools an American president to do His bidding in an effort to wake us up. Don’t think for one moment that Obama is in charge. It’s totally HaShem Who is pulling the strings.

  2. Gallup simply doesn’t understand that our religion is just different. The guy who says he isn’t religious – “?? ???” – does way more religious activities than the US “Christian”.

  3. Ridiculous poll
    Majority of Israelis are religious or Mesorati/traditional – they surely did not understand the question. More Israelis fast on Yom Kippur, light Chanukah candles. Keep away from chometz & listen to the Megillah…except they believe that is ISRAELI/jewish culture not a religious lifestyle. The rest of the Middle East are fundamentalist fanatics that believe in honor killings in name of Allah & lack of human dignity in the name of Allah.

  4. to #4 and#5:

    The Kalever Rebbe — may the ribbono Shel Olam give him a refuah shleimah — wrote about this just this past Yom Kippur (the article appeared on a competing orthodox news sight). This may serve to clear up your confusion.

    Yes, 75% of Israelis fast on Yom Kippur but only a small minority of that 75% do so as a religious function. The rest fast — and I imagine the same applies to having a seder, lighting the chanukiah, reading megillah, etc. — either as a matter of national identity (like Americans having a barbecue and shooting of fireworks on the 4th of July) or because it is our “custom” (like the Irish wearing kilts and having a parade on St, Patrick’s Day).

    Those of us who are American witness a similar phenomenon here in the US. Most reform and conservative synagogues are nearly empty shabbos to shabbos but they are packed to the rafters come Yom Kippur and Rosh HaShannah. Their congregants, who are by and large agnostics at best and wouldn’t know a mitzvah if it kicked them in the seat of the pants, gather their families for Pesach seders and light the menorah when channukah roles around.

    Surely you wouldn’t argues that THEY are religious! No, they do these things as a statement of ethnic identity and national unity NOT as a statement of religious commitment , i.e. belief in HaShem and His commandments. I imagine this is no less the case for the typical Israeli.

    Please remember that the original goal of zionism was to replace the religion as the core of Jewish identity and replace it with an ethnic national one. Sadly, this endeavour has largely succeeded. That religious symbols and observances have been transformed into a means to reinforce those ethno-nationalist ends should hardly come as a surprise.

  5. Your comparison of the Yidden in Eretz Yisroel with those in America is not correct.

    Overall (AFAIK), the Yidden in Eretz Yisroel are more traditional than the non Orthodox in America by far I would say.

  6. I personally believe that Israelis are doing somewhat of a religious act when they claim they’re just following their Jewish traditions. Fasting on Yom Kippur is more serious and requires more commitment than having a BBQ. Even a Seder requires commitment since, unlike Thanksgiving, you read a lot of Hagaddah before you get to the meal. I’m sure Israelis who fast on Yom Kippur think about Teshuva even if they call themselves non-religious. I doubt they equate it simply to family meal such as Thanksgiving.

  7. To #8

    You may be surprised to learn that I do not disagree with you. Yes, Jews in Israel are more “traditional.” But that is precisely the problem. Doing something because it’s “tradition” is substantively different than doing it out of a belief in G-d.

    To #9
    Yes, it is certainly better for a Yid to do a mitzvah for the wrong reasons than to do, c”v, an aveirah for the “right” reasons. But such an act is still not REALLY a mitzvah. And yes, it requires commitment to fast on Yom Kippur but, as the Kalever Rebbe points out, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s a commitment to RELIGION but is rather representative of commitment to ethnic nationalism wherein these observances have been transformed into statements of national/cultural/ethnic unity rather than devotion to G-d.